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09/29/08 - Electrical field could boost gas efficiency
KeelyNet According to Rongjia Tao, Chair of Temple's Physics Department, the small device consists of an electrically charged tube that can be attached to the fuel line of a car's engine near the fuel injector. Report on PDF - Electric-Field Assisted Fuel Atomization. With the use of a power supply from the vehicle's battery, the device creates an electric field that thins fuel, or reduces its viscosity, so that smaller droplets are injected into the engine. That leads to more efficient and cleaner combustion than a standard fuel injector, he says. Six months of road testing in a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz automobile showed that the device increased highway fuel from 32 miles per gallon to 38 mpg, a 20 percent boost, and a 12-15 percent gain in city driving. Temple has applied for a patent (20030089596 - May 15, 2003) on this technology, which has been licensed to California-based Save The World Air, Inc., an environmentally conscientious enterprise focused on the design, development, and commercialization of revolutionary technologies targeted at reducing emissions from internal combustion engines. / Method and apparatus for increasing and modulating the yield shear stress of electrorheological fluids - Abstract - A method for increasing and/or modulating the yield shear stress of an electrorheological fluid includes applying a sufficient electric field to the fluid to cause the formation of chains of particles, and then applying a sufficient pressure to the fluid to cause thickening or aggregation of the chains. An apparatus for increasing and/or modulating the transfer or force or torque between two working structures includes an electrorheological fluid and electrodes through which an electric field is applied to the fluid such that particles chains of particles are formed in the fluid and, upon application of pressure to the fluid, the chains thicken or aggregate and improve the force or torque transmission. (via zpenergy.com - Source

09/29/08 - Heat Waves Set Off New Thief Alarm (Apr, 1932)
KeelyNet THE heat from a burglar’s body, even the gentle warmth of his breath, may now be detected by science’s latest contribution to crime prevention, the “heat radio.” The heart of the “heat radio” is a very tiny and very delicate thermocouple, which is mounted at the focal point of a large metallic reflector. This reflector, shown in the accompanying illustration, collects the feeble heat waves and concentrates them on the super-sensitive thermocouple. An amplifier connected to the thermocouple amplifies the current generated about one million times, making it strong enough to operate a recording instrument at police headquarters or an alarm bell. - Source

09/29/08 - China to combine four ships to form space station
The Director of Jiuquan Launch Center claims that China is set to build a space station by snapping together four spaceships (Shenzhou 7, 8, 9, and 10), to be launched sequentially, according to a report by Hong Kong newspaper the Ming Pao Daily News. Though other reports indicate that taikonauts aboard Shenzhou 7 will return to Earth on September 28, the official source claimed the ship will remain in the orbit to be docked with unmanned Shenzhou 8 and 9. Finally, the manned spaceship Shenzhou 10 will be launched and dock with the other three, completing the space station. - Source

09/29/08 - Axon 100mpg wonder car
KeelyNet It's just a car. it's called Axon, and it's just a car. It has a petrol engine, four wheels. So why is it supposed to be the greenest breakthrough in the automotive sector? "Because it can do 100 miles to the gallon with less than half the CO2 emissions of an average car," said Steven Cousins, the founder of Axon. Axon Automotive, a new British car company – no seriously - has built its first model out of carbon fibre. The engine is made of metal, yes, but almost everything else is carbon: The chassis, the structure, even the body. The engine is innovative, of course, but it's someone else's bright idea - a two-cylinder, 500 cc block, and tiny, at 26 kg. It was designed by Ptech in Norfolk, and it's pretty high-tech, for all that. If something goes wrong, you send the engine to Norfolk, where they read the built-in black box, discover what the fault was, and send you a new one back while they fix the old one. The first cars should appear on the road in 2010, and should cost £10,500 – and should reach 85 mph top. - Source

09/29/08 - Smart Car Redesign Kits...via photoshop
KeelyNet Not real excited about the look of the super fuel efficient Smart Car? Have no fear. Here are some very interesting kits that are available to people hoping for a sportier vehicle. - Source. / How to make a Super car out of a little one w/videos - The idea behind the "Smart car" was to create a vehicle easy to park and short enough to allow "nose-in" parking. Its length of 250 centimetres (98.4 in) would equal the width of a regular parking slot, allowing two or three Smarts to park in the space as one normal car. Now suppose you change both Smart motors for two powerful Suzuki GSX R 1000 motorbike engines. Can you imagine what will be the final result!?

09/29/08 - CSIRO's UltraBattery goes global
Tests show the UltraBattery has a lifecycle at least four times longer and produces 50 per cent more power than conventional batteries. It is also about 70 per cent cheaper than the energy storage systems currently used in hybrid electric vehicles. Under the agreement, the two companies will release the technology in Japan and Thailand, North America, Mexico and Canada within two years. The technology combines an enhanced-power negative electrode and a lead acid battery in a single unit. It also has applications for renewable energy storage from wind and solar. - Source

09/29/08 - New Jewellery Invention Helps Women Lose Weight
KeelyNet Auckland woman Wendy Barker has invented and patented the world’s first successful weight loss fashion accessory. Her Figure 8 Bodychain helps people to lose weight and research has already indicated that the majority also keep it off. The Figure 8 Bodychain is worn around the waist against the skin, underneath the clothing, so it fits comfortably – just tight enough to stay in place while being almost imperceptible as the wearer goes about their daily life. At first glance, the Figure 8 Bodychain presents itself as a piece of elegant jewellery but the product utilises a branch of behavioural psychology known as operant conditioning. Barker describes the Figure 8 Bodychain as being like a personal weight loss coach. "When worn continuously the Figure 8 Bodychain provides subtle, constant feedback to your brain about the state of your waist measurement and begins to modify your behaviour - the key to weight loss success. Crucially it will not allow your mind to trick your body about whether your food intake and exercise output is right for you. Good or bad, your Figure 8 Bodychain will let you know exactly what’s happening with your body," explains Barker. - Source. Available at Body Chain - WOW $327 - $537 ($221 to $363 US)...I think a hardware or local jewelry store is much cheaper!!!

09/29/08 - Ionizing Radiation Extends Life
Low radiation doses extend human life, Russian biologist says. Ionizing radiation affects genes, which are responsible for cell ageing. X-rays and gamma rays in low and medium doses extend life of various laboratory animals on 10-29% is not surprising. Small doses of radiation promote immunity and cell division, as well as initiate other mechanisms of cell defense. But another explanation exists. Russian biologist tends to think that exposure to radiation damages DNA molecules and causes formation of free radicals, which in their turn, lead to premature aging and death of cells. However, first cells that die are usually the most sensitive to stress and unable to repair their DNA. Death of these cells does no harm to the whole organism, because new healthy cells quickly replace dead ones. Perhaps, this is the way an organism reacts on low radiation does and on any other externally induced stress. - Source

09/29/08 - Video - Peter Schiff PREDICTED THIS HOUSING MARKET DISASTER
KeelyNet The guy they're laughing at is Peter Schiff, economic advisor for Ron Paul. Peter Schiff was recently on the Fox Business, and Fox’s Cashin-in. He is the author of Crashproof:How to profit from the coming economic collapse. Peter Schiff is a regular contributer to Fox Business news, and is the president of Euro-Pacific capital. He is an economic advisor for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Mr. Schiff is one of the few non-biased investment advisors (not committed solely to the short side of the market) to have correctly called the current bear market before it began and to have positioned his clients accordingly. As a result of his accurate forecasts on the U.S. stock market, commodities, gold and the dollar, he is becoming increasingly more renowned. - Source. / And this video interview from January 1st, again warns of imminent collapse and where Schiff supports Ron Paul. / Think we only have 2 choices for President? Think again.

09/29/08 - Dark Energy: Is It Merely An Illusion?
The problem facing astrophysicists is that they have to explain why the universe appears to be expanding at an ever increasing rate. The most popular explanation is that some sort of force is pushing the accelerating the universe's expansion. That force is generally attributed to a mysterious dark energy. Although dark energy may seem a bit contrived to some, the Oxford theorists are proposing an even more outrageous alternative. They point out that it's possible that we simply live in a very special place in the universe - specifically, we're in a huge void where the density of matter is particularly low. - Source

09/29/08 - Car Works Pushover Gate (Feb, 1951)
KeelyNet William Benke got tired of jumping in and out of his car to open the gate to his west Texas ranch. So he invented the automatic gate at left. The car pushes down the gate (top photo); rides over it (center); then, after hydraulic checks hold it down, it rises (bottom). Hawley Mfg. Co., Houston, makes the Push-Over Gate. - Source

09/29/08 - Small Wind Energy on the Rise in US
KeelyNet According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), interest in small wind technology is on the rise. The association says 10,000 turbines were sold in the U.S. last year and that number is expected to grow by 20 percent a year. Consumers can choose from hundreds of models on the market ranging from US $14,000 to $60,000. The industry says the average U.S. household uses about 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a month. These units can produce between 400 to 1,000 kWh per month depending on the available wind. - Source

09/29/08 - Nuclear Detection By Cellphone
Researchers at Purdue University are working on tech that will turn every cellphone into a roaming nuclear weapon sniffer and are lobbying Congress to legally require cellphone users and carriers to participate. The Distributed Nuclear Detection by Ubiquitous Cellphone project would be kind of like the massive cellphone dragnet in The Dark Knight, but it would look for terrorists sneaking dirty bombs and nuclear weapons instead of the Joker. - Source

09/29/08 - Solar Panels Are Vanishing, Only to Reappear on the Internet
KeelyNet Police departments in California — the biggest market for solar power, with more than 33,000 installations — are seeing a rash of such burglaries, though nobody compiles overall statistics. Investigators do not believe the thieves are acting out of concern for their carbon footprints. Rather, authorities assume that many panels make their way to unwitting homeowners, sometimes via the Internet. Beyond California, solar-power markets are comparatively small, so thefts are still rare — but they are spreading. In the last 18 months, Oregon’s highway department has lost a few panels used to power portable traffic message boards. In Europe, where the solar industry is well-established, thievery is entrenched, and measures to ward it off have become standard, including alarm systems and hard-to-unscrew panels. But in the United States, installers are just coming to grips with the need for alarms, video cameras and indelible engraving of serial numbers. - Source

09/29/08 - Relativity drive: The end of wings and wheels?
Roger Shawyer has developed an engine with no moving parts that he believes can replace rockets and make trains, planes and automobiles obsolete. "The end of wings and wheels" is how he puts it. It's a bold claim. His working prototype is an engine that generates thrust purely from electromagnetic radiation - microwaves to be precise - by exploiting the strange properties of relativity. It has no moving parts, and releases no exhaust or noxious emissions. Potentially, it could pack the punch of a rocket in a box the size of a suitcase. It could one day replace the engines on almost any spacecraft. More advanced versions might allow cars to lift from the ground and hover. It could even lead to aircraft that will not need wings at all. I can't help thinking that it sounds too good to be true. What Shawyer had in mind was a replacement for the small thrusters conventional satellites use to stay in orbit. The fuel they need makes up about half their launch weight, and also limits a satellite's life: once it runs out, the vehicle drifts out of position and must be replaced. Shawyer's engine, by contrast, would be propelled by microwaves generated from solar energy. The photovoltaic cells would eliminate the fuel, and with the launch weight halved, satellite manufacturers could send up two craft for the price of one, so you would only need half as many launches. Shawyer's electromagnetic drive - emdrive for short - consists in essence of a microwave generator attached to what looks like a large copper cake tin. It needs a power supply for the magnetron, but there are no moving parts and no fuel - just a cord to plug it into the mains. Various pipes add complexity, but they are just there to keep the chamber cool. And the device seems to work: by mounting it on a sensitive balance, he has shown that it generates about 16 millinewtons of thrust, using 1 kilowatt of electrical power. Each photon that a magnetron fires into the microwave cavity creates an equal and opposite reaction - like the recoil force on a gun as it fires a bullet. - Source

09/29/08 - SpaceX - First Privately funded rocket has made it into space
KeelyNet After three failed launches, the company founded by Elon Musk worked all of the bugs out of their Falcon 1 launch vehicles. The entire spectacle was broadcast live from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. Cameras mounted on the spacecraft showed our planet shrinking in the distance and the empty first stage engine falling back to Earth. Eight minutes after leaving the ground, Falcon 1 reached a speed of 5200 meters per second and passed above the International Space Station. The feat is a giant leap forward for privately-funded space ventures, and follows the spectacular 2004 suborbital flight of SpaceShipOne. Paypal co-founder Elon Musk seemed almost overcome with emotion. In the coming years, his company will try to make space transportation ten times cheaper and more reliable. Falcon 1 is a two stage rocket powered by liquid oxygen enriched rocket-grade kerosene, using two engines designed by SpaceX itself. - Source

09/29/08 - Are you registered to vote? Confirm your registration!
As many of you have heard, there are a number of nefarious initiatives out there to disenfranchise many voters. This site will allow you (among other things) to confirm you are indeed registered to vote. Please check your registration status and soon, so that you can rectify any errors in time for November 4th. Privacy Note: the site is obviously partisan, but the registration check is not. As you can see, the link is https, and you will need to input your real name, as well as some other basic biographical details necessary to perform the check. The site also asks for an email, but does not require a real one to complete the process, so privacy advocates can rest easier. I wasn't successful in finding a neutral site out there to perform this service; all the others simply have info on where to register, not whether you already have. - Source

09/27/08 - Inventor offers High Efficiency Vehicle Modifications - Needs Investors
KeelyNet Video - Car Inventor Tony Fini - You may have seen Local Inventor Tony Fini driving around the southtowns in cars he built from scratch. He said they get between 40 and 100 miles per gallon. "Combination of the transmissions and the weight loss, in the smaller vehicles, the combination of things." The retired Frontier industrial arts teacher has built seven experimental vehicles in the garage and basement of his Blasdell home. Oe of the cars uses electricity and solar power and some are gasoline powered, but use hydraulic motors. One 1904 Curved Dash Olds replica gets 100 miles per gallon. One of his cars, the Jeep-like vehicle, is 25 years old. Fini said it gets between 40 and 60 miles per gallon, and he doesn't just drive it around. He's also taken it to Toronto numerous times and also to the outskirts of Chicago. People have asked about them. While they get great mileage, Fini said he'd have to mass produce them to be practical. "I've told them $35,000-40,000 if I have to build one custom made just for you. On the other hand, if we run a line of 100 of them, I'm sure I'd get that down to about $12,000." Fini said he spent about a quarter of a million dollars of his own money. "I went to the Department of Energy, I went to the national bureau of standards, I even went to the McCarthur Foundation, zero." Fini said it took him about nine months to build each vehicle. - Source

09/27/08 - It's easy to be green
KeelyNet Many have overlooked these environmental trends as they continue on with their daily lives — as long as it wasn’t affecting their daily routines, not very many gave any consideration of what their daily habits were truly costing them. But, finally, people have started thinking twice about this environmental downward spiral, as filling up the gas tank puts a big dent in their wallets and in their quality of life. Fortunately, high gas prices and a grim economy could possibly have a very positive unintended consequence on the environment, and Ken Powell, a real estate consultant of Thousand Oaks, has put together one of the biggest environmental events in the country. Powell, along with dozens of professionals, are coming together for a sustainable living expo, the Big E Extravaganza, on Sept. 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free of charge to the public at the Palms Shopping Center in Oxnard. What Powell proposed a few months ago as a transportation event quickly turned into a full-scale event with more than 70 workshops and 175 green-living booths. The workshops will focus on eco-technology, efficient transportation, green building, green jobs, outdoor and gardening techniques, home décor and healthy living. The Big E event will even have a few special workshops geared toward educating children about green practices. A number of electric cars will be making appearances at the expo. Powell says six different companies will be showing off several versions of their fully electric vehicles, including the ZAP line, which will range in price from $12,000 to $17,000 for the two- and four-seat automobiles and pickups. “They are equivalent to 400 miles per gallon, or all the way to San Francisco,” Powell says. “Plug it in — it will cost about $15 a month.” But for those who aren’t willing to give up their gas-powered vehicles just yet, Frank Randak of the AVT Corporation of Ventura County has invented the first solar-powered magnetic train. He will discuss and present his conceptual design of the train at the expo. While it is still only on paper at the moment, Randak believes his invention is the answer to gas-powered alternatives used for long-distance traveling. “We will move the cars on a train, and we will move cars really fast at 250 miles per hour,” Randak says. “The cost to build it, depending on stations and traffic, is around $50 million per mile. But the real question: How much will it make per mile? Pure ticket sales will bring in about $5 million per year, just from tickets. Customers will pay about 25 cents per mile.” Randak has requested that California Lutheran University allow his company to build the first life-size model on campus. He said he still has not heard back from the school, but has already patented the technology of his magnetic train. - Source

09/27/08 - 3 Videos on the Keppe Electric motor which claims to tap ZPE
KeelyNet About Keppe Motor Primary source of energy: scalar or essential energy (from space). / Secondary source of energy: battery or electrical current used only to give the initial start. / Motor heating: none. / Environmental pollution: none. / Energy cost to operate: 5-10% of what it costs to operate motors of the same potency. / Energy consumption: 10-20 times less than normal. / Operating area: any place on the planet because it is not dependent on other sources of energy such as atomic, hydroelectric, eolic (wind) or coal. / RPM: adjustable in accordance with the applied voltage. 3500 RPMs has already been accomplished with a motor whose rotor weighs 400 grams and consumes 15 watts and 4500 RPMs with a 250 gram rotor. / Torque: a minimum of 5 times greater than the best conventional motors. / Efficiency: depending on the dimensions can be 20 times greater than normal motors. Coil made of regular copper wire, rotor made of permanent magnets, shaft, switching system, 1 or 2 batteries and a rectifying circuit. - Source

09/27/08 - Gas Shortage In the South Creates Panic, Long Lines
Gasoline shortages hit towns across the southeastern United States this week, sparking panic buying, long lines and high prices at stations from the small towns of northeast Alabama to Charlotte in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. In Atlanta, half of the gasoline stations were closed, according to AAA, which said the supply disruptions had taken place along two major petroleum product pipelines that have operated well below capacity since the hurricanes knocked offshore oil production and several refineries out of service along the Gulf of Mexico. Terrance Bragg, a chef in Charlotte, "I drove past nine or ten gasoline stations that were out of gas," Bragg said. "I had my GPS up looking for any gas in the area, from the mom-and-pop places to the corporate gas stations. Nothing. They were all taped off."The Energy Department said that as of Wednesday 63 percent, or 800,000 barrels a day, of production in the Gulf of Mexico was still shut down as were five refineries with a combined capacity of 1.2 million barrels a day. The refineries produce a half-million barrels of gasoline a day, or about 5 percent of the nation's total supplies. Other refineries are still working at less than full capacity. Hurricane Gustav landed Sept. 1, and Ike hit Sept. 13. - Source

09/27/08 - The Perot Charts - 1 Billion every day, we are running out of time.
KeelyNet The American people must wake up and face the reality that promises made in the past will soon bankrupt this nation. These problems are explained in an easy-to-understand chart presentation discussed further at the bottom of this page. Comments to the charts and other material described are encouraged. The United States faces large and growing budget deficits mostly due to an aging population and rising healthcare costs. Unless we solve the problems caused by entitlement spending, there will be little money left to do anything else in the future. Over time, our standard of living, our national security, our standing in the world and the value of our currency could all be threatened. The sooner we confront these issues, the better. / Ross Perot is exactly right to echo Winston Churchill’s famous cry for “action this day” to rally the nation to reform our entitlement programs, end deficit spending, and balance the federal budget. Perotcharts.com contains information every citizen needs to know so we can demand real change to get the nation on the right track. - Source

09/27/08 - Isle of plenty
With a simple grid of windfarms, solar panels and sheep, it's selling power to the mainland and taking calls from Shell. The Danish island of Samso is entirely self sufficient. Ten years ago, islanders drew nearly all their energy from oil and petrol brought in by tankers and from coal-powered electricity transmitted to the island through a mainland cable link. Today that traffic in energy has been reversed. Samsingers now export millions of kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable energy sources to the rest of Denmark. In doing so, islanders have cut their carbon footprint by a staggering 140 per cent. And what Samso can do today, the rest of the world can achieve in the near future, it is claimed. Everywhere you travel on the island you see signs of change. There are dozens of wind turbines of various sizes dotted across the landscape, houses have solar-panelled roofs, while a long line of giant turbines off the island's southern tip swirl in the wind. Towns are linked to district heating systems that pump hot water to homes. These are either powered by rows of solar panels covering entire fields, or by generators which burn straw from local farms, or timber chips cut from the island's woods. None of these enterprises has been imposed by outsiders or been funded by major energy companies. Each plant is owned either by a collective of local people or by an individual islander. The Samso revolution has been an exercise in self-determination - a process in which islanders have decided to demonstrate what can be done to alleviate climate damage while still maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. - Source

09/27/08 - China Building Reactionless Space Thruster
KeelyNet While NASA is having problems reaching milestones for their new Ares rockets-the conventional rocket that will get the US to the Moon and Mars-China is actually trying to build a reactionless space thruster like the ones used by Cylon Basestars. This is a very basic diagram of an Emdrive, a kind of reactionles drives-which “doesn’t require any outside force or net momentum exchange to produce linear motion”-being developed by scientists at Northwestern Polytechnical University in X’ian. The Emdrive consists of a cavity that gets flooded with microwave radiation, which theoretically will result in linear motion as supported by Einstein’s Special Law of Relativity. - Source

09/27/08 - 'ICE' Cell Phone Plan Would Help Rescuers
KeelyNet To its owner, the cell phone is an indispensable lifeline at times of crisis, reuniting loved ones separated by unforeseen events at the touch of a button. But for members of the emergency services making life-and-death decisions, the cell poses a conundrum: Which of the numbers stored in its electronic address book should they call to reach a casualty's next of kin? Now a simple initiative, conceived by a paramedic in Britain, has gained momentum on both sides of the Atlantic to try to solve this problem. Cell users are being urged to put the acronym ICE -- "in case of emergency" -- before the names of the people they want to designate as next of kin in their cell address book, creating entries such as "ICE -- Dad" or "ICE -- Alison." Paramedics, police and firefighters often waste valuable time trying to figure out which name in a cell phone to call when disaster strikes, according to current and retired members of the emergency services, who said they must look through wallets for clues, or scroll through cell address books and guess. Many people identify their spouse by name in their cell, making them indistinguishable from other entries. - Source

09/27/08 - Water-powered cars unrealistic
Energy experts are speaking out against a Japanese company that claims to have invented a water-fueled car. Genepax is touting their newly released water-fuel as capable of powering a car and other fuel-reliant devices. Yet information on the product is only available online and the company has failed to release any details to the public aside from a few simple diagrams. These diagrams show technology that enables the use of water as a fuel and as the system’s main emission. Daniel Dingel, an inventor from the Philippines, claims to have created a water-powered car 30 years ago. He has garnered worldwide press for his invention, but like Genepax, he has never released the details of his design. Both Dingel and Genepax were unavailable for comment. While the technology does exist to get energy out of water, it is still considered too inefficient for vehicles. “What’s appealing is the concept,” said Arne Elias, executive director of the Centre for Sustainable Transportation. “The problem is that’s not how it works. The conversion to hydrogen from water is very inefficient.” “It’s possible to put H2O in your tank and use a fuel to split it . . . but there is no such thing as an H2O-powered vehicle.” The concept of an H2O-powered vehicle is often confused with hydrogen fuel cell technology, where hydrogen gas is converted into energy with a pure H2O emission. - Source

09/27/08 - Flu Vaccine Delivered Into Lungs Triggers Stronger Immune Response
KeelyNet Delivering flu vaccines straight into the lungs instead of through routine injections could trigger a far stronger immune response, a study has found. The Australian study, published in Mucosal Immunology, showed that lower doses of a seasonal flu vaccine delivered into the lungs of sheep gave better protection against flu than a higher standard dose that was injected into another group of sheep. The scientists delivered three different doses of flu vaccines (15, 5 and 1 micrograms) into the lungs of three groups of sheep using a bronchoscope, or tube. A fourth group of sheep was injected with standard 15-microgram flu vaccines. “Lung delivery produced superior levels of antibodies in the lung (approximately 1,000 times more), where the influenza virus infects, than the injected vaccine. The antibodies produced in the blood and lung were able to block the ability of the virus to stick to the receptor it uses to infect cells, demonstrating they would be effective against infection,” Sutton said. The generation of such huge amounts of antibodies in the lungs was especially important in the case of influenza, because flu is spread from person to person mainly through sneezing and coughing. “The generation of functional antibodies in the lung could potentially help reduce the spread of the infection by neutralizing the virus before it can be breathed out by an infected person,” Sutton said. He noted, however, that they would need to find better ways to deliver vaccine directly into the lungs. - Source

09/27/08 - Hearing Test for Mad Cow Disease
KeelyNet As Japanese consumers become ever more “fussy” over food safety issues, there is a growing demand for technology that improves food quality. To ease the minds of health-conscious meat-eaters, researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH) have developed a convenient method for identifying cattle infected with mad cow disease, simply by measuring the brain waves they produce in response to audio stimuli. Symptoms of the disease include loss of muscle control, inability to stand or walk properly, agitation, and red eyes. Approximately 24 months after infection, the 11 test cows began to exhibit the typical physical signs of BSE. However, at around 22 months after infection - before the physical symptoms became evident - the researchers discovered that the brains of the infected cows had a delayed reaction to sound. In all 11 mad cows, the brain waves elicited in response to audio stimuli were a few tenths of a millisecond slower than in healthy cows. The researchers believe the acoustic nerves responsible for transmitting sound impulses to the brain became damaged as the disease progressed, resulting in a delayed response time. By using a device that measures this delay, ranchers can identify mad cows in their herds, the researchers suggest. - Source

09/27/08 - Web Server On a Business Card
"We've seen tiny Web servers in the past, but rarely ones that are home-built. Here's a guide to building your own tiny web server with a footprint no larger than a business card. The design uses two major chips. One handles the SPI to MAC/PHY translation for the ethernet jack. The other chip is a PIC24F, which hosts a simple web server and reads files stored on a microSD card. All components run at a low 3.3 volts. Part of the compactness of the design comes from the PIC24F having programmable pins; only four jumper wires were needed. The single-sided SMD design is easy to manufacture at home. Part 1 covered many of the 24F's features and both posts have full code available." - Source

09/27/08 - The State of U.S. Geothermal Production and Development
KeelyNet With 2,957.94 megawatts (MW) of installed geothermal capacity, the United States remains the world leader with 30% of the online capacity total. A recent industry update showed an increase in the pace of geothermal production in the U.S., a country that many experts believe should take initiative to shed the expensive, foreign-dependent lifestyle of running on oil and gas and begin to help mitigate the threat of global warming. Geothermal energy, considered by a growing number of renewable energy experts as the best form of renewable energy for its ability to provide continuous, 24-hour, clean, sustainable energy production, has long been an underdog to other technologies. The report identified 103 projects underway in 13 states (see Table, below). When developed, these projects could potentially supply up to 3,979 MW of power, meeting the needs of roughly 4 million homes. When we add that number to the 2,957 MW currently online, geothermal power could reach nearly 7,000 MW. At this pace of development, geothermal production could exceed 15,000 MW by 2025, which is significantly more more than the 12,558 MW projected by the Geothermal Task Force in a report that was submitted to the Western Governors' Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative in 2006. - Source

09/27/08 - Universal Surface Scanner Detected
"Their idea uses a thin layer of metal drilled with nanoscale holes, laid onto the surface being tested. When the perforated plate is zapped with laser light, the surface plasmons that form emit light with a frequency related to the materials touching the plate. A sensitive light detector is needed to measure the frequency of light given off. The team says devices using this approach can be small and portable, will work on very low power, and could detect everything from explosives to bacteria. All that needs to be done now is build a system able to decode the light signatures." - Source

09/27/08 - Google Map Marker Causes Accident
KeelyNet Would this be the Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond or the Outer Limits that finally meets Google! Does Google have insurance for this? Map shows scene of the accident. Maybe some people have wayyyy too much time on their hands...but it is a very cute and funny observation....(This made me laugh! - JWD) - Source

09/27/08 - Ministers to Defy I.R.S. by Endorsing Candidates
Defying a federal tax law they consider unjust, 33 ministers across the country will take to their pulpits this Sunday and publicly endorse a candidate for president. They plan to then send copies of their sermons to the Internal Revenue Service, hoping to provoke a challenge to a law that bars religious organizations and other nonprofits that accept tax-deductible contributions from involvement in partisan political campaigns. The protest, called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, was organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a consortium of Christian lawyers that fights for conservative religious and social causes. When the fund first announced the protest this year, it said it planned to have 50 ministers taking part. As of Thursday it said it had hundreds of volunteers, but had selected only 33 who were fully aware of the risks and benefits. - Source

09/27/08 - First-Ever Spy Glasses with Camera Built-In
KeelyNet Spy glasses have been around for years. They typically have a camera lens hidden in the frame of the glasses, and a cable that extends to a pocket where the actual camera is. Now, $186 spy glasses INTEGRATE ALL CAMERA ELECTRONICS INTO THE FRAME OF THE GLASSES. The spy glasses have 2 GB storage built in, plus has a MicroSD slot for additional storage. It takes stills, plus video at 30 frames per second. An even crazier version has BOTH CAMERA AND MP3 PLAYER BUILT IN. This one costs $165, and uses a wireless remote for secretly snapping pics. - Source

09/27/08 - Why Veteran Visionaries Will Save the World
That's the prevailing wisdom in Silicon Valley, a land once again bestrode by millionaire CEOs who just learned to shave. Many people believe that the breakthrough ideas come only from the young. Young people rule tech innovation, we tell ourselves, because they have several key advantages. They're fearless and naive, so they'll try anything. They can spy markets that elders, with their locked-in views, cannot. And without dependents or spouses, twentysomethings can work the sort of pyramid-building hours necessary for a startup. It's a kind of Logan's Run world: If you're ending a third decade, you're obsolete. But hold on. A recent study has finally collected some data on age and high tech innovation and found that older geeks are just as successful as young Turks. What's more, the chronologically advanced are especially successful at solving problems we increasingly — and desperately — need solved. In other words, the high tech future may belong to the over-30 set. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation surveyed 652 US-born CEOs and heads of product development who founded high tech firms in the boom (and bust) years of 1995 to 2005. Both the average and median ages were 39 — far older than the mythic dorm-room visionary. Turns out those youthquake pioneers don't really represent the pack. They're outliers. - Source

09/27/08 - xVideoServiceThief
xVideoServiceThief is a tool for downloading your favourite video clips from a lot of video websites. xVideoServiceThief also provide you the ability to convert each video in most popular formats: AVI, MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV, MP4, 3GP, MP3 file formats. / Download your favorite online video clips from YouTube, 5min, Metacafe, and more than 50 other online video sharing sites with free open source application xVideoServiceThief. Enter a URL of nearly any online video and xVideoServiceThief will automatically download the video (unless you specify otherwise). Videos can be downloaded to either FLV or AVI formats. - Source

09/27/08 - Miracle airship tech sustained by DARPA pork trickle
KeelyNet A Ukrainian airship visionary based in California has won further US military funding to develop his miraculous "Aeroscraft" sky-leviathan design. However, some question marks remain over the craft's unique - almost miraculous - buoyancy-control technology. The super-lightweight rigid structure, which Aeros founder Igor Pasternak will now pull out of his hat, will need to be remarkable stuff. The proposed Aeroscraft rigid airship would be strong and stiff enough to handle heavy loads, and to transmit significant forces from attached stub wings, fins, and vectored-thrust props. Pasternak sees the structure as one of the two special sauces which will make his sky-ship project genuinely capable and airworthy, unlike so many others. But the super-structure kit will be far from the most startling thing about the Aeroscraft, should it ever get built. Pasternak's other proprietary trick - which he calls Control Of Static Heaviness, or COSH - is far more remarkable, and he claims to have cracked that already. The problem is a relatively simple one: that of controlling buoyancy when losing weight. In order to move about, an airship must burn fuel, so becoming lighter. More seriously, in order to operate, it will often need to drop off cargo or passengers. In either case the ship will become more buoyant and tend to ascend more and more powerfully. This is bad, because pressure decreases as the ship soars upward, causing the lifting-gas cells inside it to expand. It's normal for part of the ship to hold air at surface level, allowing the ship to reach a decent altitude safely, but enough uncontrolled buoyancy will loft the vessel to "pressure height", where expanding gas cells have driven out all the air and fill the ship completely. At pressure height, automatic valves open and start venting off lifting gas to prevent the ship bursting. It may be possible to regain control and achieve a safe landing in the end - though not always - but a lot of gas will definitely be gone until the ship can be refilled. - Source

09/27/08 - A rational response to atheists
Dear Atheists; You reject major religions and gods on the basis of a lack of evidence. But many of the beliefs you hold are disappointingly irrational, superstitious - even religious. Some of you almost make me ashamed to call myself an atheist. Almost. Being critical of religion doesn't automatically make you more intelligent than a religious person. Atheists - a group I'll be using to refer to agnostics and other nonreligious folk, as well as actual nonbelievers - adhere to all manner of bizarre religious and pseudoscientific ideas, and it's difficult to present a united front for reason and critical thinking when we nonbelievers fail to employ these tools ourselves. Don't take my word for it. A comprehensive study titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press, demonstrates that self-identified atheists are much more likely to believe in haunted houses, palm reading, alien visits, astrology and communicating with the dead than far-right Christians. To the 31 percent of atheists who believe in this nonsense: What is wrong with you? And what's wrong with the other 69 percent of us who tolerate this? - Source

09/27/08 - Vanga predicted break out of Third World War in 2010
KeelyNet Vanga predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, when she said that American brothers would fall under attacks of birds of steel. The clairvoyant also predicted the beginning of WWII, the perestroika in the USSR, the death of Princess Diana and even the sinking of the Kursk submarine. Specialists also say that the renowned fortune-teller also predicted the events connected with the armed conflict in South Ossetia. Vanga supposedly said that the Third World War would break out as a result of attempts on the lives of four government heads and after a conflict in Hindustan. Vanga claimed that her alleged extraordinary abilities had something to do with the presence of invisible creatures, but she couldn't clearly explain their origin. She was saying, that those creatures were giving her information about people, which she could not transmit to them, because, distance and time didn't matter. According to Vanga, the life of everyone standing in front of her, was like a film to her, from birth till death. But changing "what was written on the generation" was beyond her power. - Source

09/27/08 - At Home, Women Rule
Men might strut their stuff on Wall Street and on Capitol Hill, but across America women wield the power on the home front. A survey by the Pew Research Center, announced today, finds that among 43 percent of couples the woman makes more of the decisions in the domestic realm than men do. The results come from a survey of 1,260 individuals who were married or living as a couple. These areas included choosing shared weekend activities, buying major things for the home, deciding what to watch on television and managing household finances. - Source

09/27/08 - World's Fastest Cyclist Hits 82.3 MPH
KeelyNet Sam Whittingham is the fastest cyclist on the planet, having pedaled his sleek recumbent bicycle to a stunning 82.3 mph to claim the world record for a human-powered vehicle. "On the one hand, it's terrifying, but also completely exhilarating, Whittingham, who's won the competition every year since its inception six years ago, told the Vancouver Sun after taking home the $26,748 deciMach Prize for Human-Powered Speed. "It's like going down the steepest hill you can find on your bike, but you get to do that all the time." Except Whittingham's bike is nothing like your bike. Whittingham, who runs Naked Bicycle and Design, set the record on (in?) the Varna Diablo III, a sleek teardrop-shaped recumbent designed and built by bike designer Georgi Georgiev. It features carbon fiber wheels and a carbon frame wrapped with Kevlar bodywork. - Source

09/27/08 - China fakes reports from space
China's state news agency published a despatch from the country's three latest astronauts describing their first night in space before they had even left Earth. The Xinhua agency, which has sometimes been accused of carrying state propaganda, took down the story and blamed it on a "technical error". - Source

09/25/08 - Fastest production car with “several years between charging”
KeelyNet Last week saw the one year anniversary of SSC’s Ulimate Aero becoming the fastest production car in the world at 256.18 mph, pushing past marks set by Koenigsegg’s CCR and Bugatti’s Veyron. A 500 bhp EV is planned for late 2009 and a 1000 bhp 4WD EV is also under consideration. Now here’s the kicker – the press statement reads: “The drive train under development will feature a revolutionary power source allowing for extended time between charging intervals with the possibility of several years between charging.” A track record as good as SSC’s gives this otherwise ridiculous claim some credibility, though it’ll need to be pretty special to run a few years between charges – maybe it’s a micro-nuclear powerplant? - Source

09/25/08 - Green Power: Buyer Beware
Utilities are offering renewable options to customers for a fee—but most of the extra revenue is going to marketing. More than 750 utilities across the country now offer customers the chance to pay a premium on their electricity bills to generate "green power." But it turns out that, in many cases, most of the money goes for marketing costs, and little can be traced to the generation of additional renewable energy. Public records show that more than 60% of the $239,000 spent during the second quarter of 2007, when Baker signed up, went to advertising and administration. "They are preying on people's good will," says Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, an advocacy group in Knoxville. Georgia Power says the 60% figure has now dropped to only 15% of overall costs. The company adds that much of the rest goes to purchases from a local landfill that generates methane from decomposing garbage. But buying gas-powered electricity from the landfill doesn't appear to achieve any additional environmental benefit: The renewable gas-from-trash is now actually less expensive than conventional sources like coal. "Any utility would use the landfill gas [without customers' green premium]. It's a no-brainer," says Smith. More than 600,000 U.S. households have signed up for utility-sponsored programs claiming that they reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. That's nearly double the figure from 2004, according to the federally funded National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. But given their eagerness for environmental bragging rights, many of the power companies are strangely reluctant to explain with specificity how extra payments from consumers produce green energy that wouldn't be generated otherwise. - Source

09/25/08 - Miracle idea helps home heat bills hit rock bottom
KeelyNet Saves money: uses less energy than a coffee maker, so leave it on day and night and never be cold again. The new HEART SURGE Roll-n-Glow Amish Fireplace actually rolls from room so you can take the heat with you anywhere. These miracle fireplaces have what's being called the 'Fireless Flame' technology that gives you the peaceful flicker of a real fire but without any flames, fumes, smells, ashes or mess. Everyone is getting them because they require no chimney and no vent. You just plug them in. The Fireless Flame looks so real it fools everybody but it has no real fire. "These portable Roll-n-Glow Fireplaces are the latest home decorating sensation. They actually give you a beautifully redecorated room while they quickly heat from wall to wall. It's the only way to dress up every room, stay really warm and slash your heat bills all at the same time," says Josette Holland, Home Makeover Expert to the rich and famous. HEAT SURGE miracle heater is a work of engineering genius from the China coast so advanced, you simply plug it into any standard wall outlet. It uses less energy than it takes to run a coffee maker. Yet, it produces an amazing 5,119 BTU's. An on board Powerful hi-tech heat turbine silently forces hot air out into the room so you feel the bone soothing heat instantly. It even has certification of Underwriters Laboratories coveted UL listing comes with a full year Money Back Guarantee. Hi-tech silent heat turbine takes in cold air. Hot air comes out. This is the portable Roll-n-Glow Fireplace that easily rolls from bedroom to living room. No vents, no chimney and no tools. Just plug it in. SAVES ON BILLS: Everyone gets low bills and stays warm and cozy. Naomi Abrams' new Roll-n-Glow Fireplace saves a ton of money and makes her front room look like a million bucks. SAVE: The Fireless Flame looks so real it fools everybody but there is no real fire. That makes it safe to the touch. It's where the kids will play and the cat and dog will sleep. $249 miracle heater. National Hotline at 1-800-716-2782 - Source. And watch out for this as a possible scam - Anonymous said... Ha ha ha, the Amish make mantles while the heater is on. Plus, how can the heater be on, they have no electricity. / Paul C. said... I'm especially enamored by the image of Amish craftspeople working on cabinets filled with full-on raging fires. / And why this is probably hyped beyond truth - The heater will cost you around 12 cents per hour to operate. The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 8 cents per 1,000 watts per hour, so 1,500 watts costs 12 cents per hour on average. This is true for ANY 1,500 watt electric heater. The ads say that the heater produces an "amazing" 5,119 BTU (a measure of heat energy), but ALL 1,500 watt electric heaters produce 5,119 BTU. If an electric heater was 100% efficient, it would convert 1,500 watts of electricity into 5,120 BTU of heat. All electric heaters are nearly 100% efficient, and this has been true for decades. The "miracle" heater is no more efficient than any other electric heater. The website of the heater's manufacturer (Heat Surge, a company in Ohio that has nothing to do with the Amish) is much more honest than the ads.

09/25/08 - Infrared Lie Detector Test
KeelyNet The lie-detector contraption consists of a headband that is strapped to the subject’s forehead, designed to emit infra-red rays through the scalp and into the brain. The infra-red rays then are reflected back and are captured to provide a reading of the amount of oxygen flowing through the brain of the subject in question. The greater the reading, the higher the chances that the subject is lying. Scott Bunce, at Drexel University's College of Medicine in Philadelphia, thinks a better solution is to send near-infrared light through the scalp and skull into the brain and see how much is reflected back. And he has designed a special headband that does just that. The amount of reflected light is dependent on the levels of oxygen in the blood, which in turn depends on how active the brain is at that point. This, he says, gives a detailed picture of real-time activity within the brain that can be used to determine whether the subject is lying. The technique is both cheaper and easier to apply than fMRI and gives a higher resolution than an EEG. - Source

09/25/08 - Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal with Cooking Strainer
KeelyNet Parabolic surfaces are perfect for collecting errant wireless signals and focusing them, and the food strainer in your kitchen cabinet is a parabola waiting to do something other than hold pasta. Instructables user Dan Folkes describes how to turn a $10 Asian cooking strainer and an equally cheap USB Wi-Fi dongle into a signal-boosting dish. Dan boost his signal enough to detect an additional 20 Wi-Fi hotspots using NetStumbler to sniff them out. If you'd like to modify your wireless router instead, check out how to boost your Wi-Fi antenna for less than a dollar with an antenna replacement and how to boost your wireless signal with tinfoil "sails" on your router antenna. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

09/25/08 - Japan's spa lovers fuel fire against geothermal giants
One of Japan's opportunities to tap cleaner, cheaper energy and reduce dependence on imported oil has run into a problem: millions of naked bathers. The dispute is over deep-underground volcanically heated water that geothermal power plants would tap to generate electricity. Japan, with nearly a tenth of the world's active volcanoes, also has thousands of hot spring resorts whose owners oppose plans to siphon off steaming mineral waters. "Developers say geothermal plants don't affect hot springs, but if something goes wrong, it's our responsibility to prove cause and effect," said Toyoshiro Kawazu, managing director of Hizenya Hotel Group, whose family owns a 300-year-old spa on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands. While geothermal power projects may help cut the country's $183-billion (U.S.) bill for imported fuel, owners of Japan's 7,700 spa resorts say baths could dry up, damaging an industry that attracted 137 million bathers last year. No spas have reported damage from geothermal plants, though owners say that's because it's difficult to prove and reporting problems may drive away customers. - Source

09/25/08 - Clean-Coal Debut in Germany
Keelynet A new coal plant is the first to capture and store carbon dioxide. The pilot plant has been built at a power station that, under Communist rule last century, used to belch out clouds of sulfurous smoke from burning brown coal, or lignite. Swedish power company Vattenfall's small 30-megawatt plant burns the lignite in air from which nitrogen has been removed. Combustion in the resulting oxygen-rich atmosphere produces a waste stream of carbon dioxide and water vapor, three-quarters of which is recycled back into the boiler. By repeating this process, known as oxyfuel, it is possible to greatly concentrate the carbon dioxide. After particles and sulfur have been removed, and water vapor has been condensed out, the waste gas can be 98 percent carbon dioxide, according to Vattenfall. The separated carbon dioxide will be cooled down to -28 °C and liquefied. Starting next year, the plan is to transport it by truck 150 miles northwest, to be injected 3,000 meters underground into a depleted inland gas field in Altmark. Ideally, in the future, the gas will be carried by pipeline to underground storage, says Vattenfall. Compressing and transporting the carbon dioxide takes energy, as does the initial extraction of nitrogen. So these processes reduce the overall efficiency of the plant, although Vattenfall is attempting to counter this by investigating ways of boosting the efficiency of the boiler--by predrying the coal, for example. The aim, according to the company's vice president, Lars Strömberg, is to develop a power plant with "almost zero" pollution. He says that achieving no emissions will be impossible, "but we will come very, very close to this target." - Source

09/25/08 - Xerox PARC, Still Making a Difference
KeelyNet PARC these days operates as a partially-owned subsidiary of Xerox -- a stand-alone business that has to make money by licensing its inventions and spinning off companies. It's been getting into all kinds of areas, like using its competence in laser technology to develop better diagnostic tools for blood. President Mark Bernstein told me about one project I thought was pretty cool: a chip on a small sticker that can keep track of concussive forces that hit it and report when the forces add up to a certain amount of damage. It could be used on helmets of soldiers, or on high school football helmets. Since concussive damage can be cumulative, Bernstein told me, the sticker could warn its wearer when damage might start to get serious. Bernstein seemed particularly proud of an invention unveiled this year called a "spiral concentrator." It seems simple, but is based on complex, precise physics. Water flows through a spiral of tubes set up so that polluting particles are forced to the sides of the tubes. The particles get trapped and clean water comes out -- a cheap, low-energy way to purify water. "That one excites me," Bernstein said. - Source

09/25/08 - Google Offers $10 Million Prize For World-Changing Ideas
Google Inc. announced Wednesday a contest that will offer $10 million in prize for five new ideas that will help the world and benefit a lot of people. The 10^100 or 10 to the 100th contest, which is being launched as part of the search giant's 10th anniversary, will accept entries from around the world and in any language until October 20. The proposed ideas should be submitted to the www.project10tothe100.com. A panel of judges composed of Google employees and advisers will narrow down the number of entries to 100 by January 27 and an online public voting until Feb. 2 will choose the top 20 ideas. From the 20 entries, a panel of judges will choose the winning five ideas and announce these in the middle of February. If judges chose less than five winners, the prize will be divided accordingly and awarded in May. Ideas will not be limited to those addressing problems on food and shelter or ways to build communities, improve health, expand access to education, sustain ecosystems and promote clean energy. Those who submit winning Project 10^100 ideas will not be required to have the technical expertise to implement them, Bethany Poole, product marketing manager at Google, told CNN. - Source

09/25/08 - Nodevice Hordes Missing Drivers, Manuals
KeelyNet If you're stumped trying to find a Windows driver for your hardware (and you didn't back it up when it last worked), try Nodevice has a database of more than 30,000 drivers, and roughly 20,000 each of manual files and DLL files. Looking for something Vista-specific? Check out previously mentioned RadarSync. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

09/25/08 - 18 year old invents mobile phone-based vehicle anti-theft system w/video
The “Block & Track” is a mobile phone-based anti-theft device and vehicle tracking system. The system, that Mbetsa created by combining technology from projects that he has completed in the past, uses a combination of voice, DTMF and SMS text messages over cell-based phone service to carry codes and messages that allow control of some of a vehicles’ electrical systems including the ignition to manage vehicle activation and disabling remotely in real time. Another feature of the system is the capacity to poll the vehicle owner by mobile phone for permission to start when the ignition is turned in real time as well as eavesdrop on conversation in the vehicle. - Source

09/25/08 - Lost tribe's 'secret' eco-village in Wales spotted in aerial photograph
KeelyNet For five happy years they enjoyed simple lives in their straw and mud huts. Generating their own power and growing their own food, they strived for self-sufficiency and thrived in homes that looked more suited to the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings. Then a survey plane chanced upon the 'lost tribe'... and they were plunged into a decade-long battle with officialdom. The eco-community in the Preseli mountains of west Wales was set up in 1993 and lived contentedly away from the rat race round a 180-acre farm bought by Julian and Emma Orbach. In 1998, it was spotted when sunlight was seen glinting off a solar panel on the main building, which was built from straw bales, timber and recycled glass. When the pilot reported back, officials were unable to find any records, let alone planning permission, for the mystery hillside village surrounded by trees and bushes. The 22 villagers fought planners even when they were within hours of the bulldozers moving in to demolish their eight homes. Now, however, they can celebrate, thanks to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's 'sustainability' policy. With green issues now getting a more sympathetic hearing, the commune has been given planning approval for its roundhouses along with lavatories, agricultural buildings and workshops. Community founder Emma Orbach, a 52-year-old mother of three, said yesterday: 'We are really excited and happy as it has been a very long battle. - Source

09/25/08 - A Bailout Above the Law
The passage is stunning. “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency,” the original draft of the proposed bill says. And with those words, the Treasury secretary — whoever that may be in a few months — will be with vested with perhaps the most incredible powers ever bestowed on one person over the economic and financial life of the nation. It is the financial equivalent of the Patriot Act. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.’s $700 billion proposal to bail out Wall Street is both the biggest rescue and the most amazing power grab in the history of the American economy. In many ways, it is classic Wall Street: a big, bold roll of the dice that one trade can save the day. But at the same time, the hypocrisy is thick. The lack of transparency and oversight that got our financial system in trouble in the first place seems written directly into the proposed bill, known as TARP, or the Troubled Asset Relief Program. - Source

09/25/08 - 8 hacks to make Firefox ridiculously fast
KeelyNet Double your browser's speed in just five minutes. Firefox has been outperforming IE in every department for years, and version 3 is speedier than ever. But tweak the right settings and you could make it faster still, more than doubling your speed in some situations, all for about five minutes work and for the cost of precisely nothing at all. Here's what you need to do. - Source

09/25/08 - City school policy sets 50% as minimum score
Pittsburgh Public Schools officials say they want to give struggling children a chance, but the district is raising eyebrows with a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work. While some districts use "F" as a failing grade, the city uses an "E." "The 'E' is to be recorded no lower than a 50 percent, regardless of the actual percent earned. For example, if the student earns a 20 percent on a class assignment, the grade is recorded as a 50 percent," said the memo from Jerri Lippert, the district's executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, and Mary VanHorn, a PFT vice president. - Source

09/25/08 - JDVoiceMail Creates Ultra-Compressed Recordings for Email
KeelyNet Windows only: Free record-and-compress utility JDVoiceMail might make you think twice about taking the time to send your parents a voice message, or make it easier to explain something in your own voice to a co-worker. Set JDVoiceMail to a high-compression codec like TrueSpeech, GSM, or MP3, and hit the red button to start recording. You'll see on-screen just how much time and space you're using. Set up email access, and your files get auto-attached to an email with its subject already set. You can also use JDVoiceMail to simply save a small voice file for your web site or other uses. JDVoiceMail is a free download for Windows systems only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

09/25/08 - Sun's Power Hits New Low, May Endanger Earth?
Even the sun appears headed for a recession. The Ulysses space probe has detected fewer sunspots, decreased solar winds, and a weakening magnetic field - the lowest solar activity observed in 50 years, NASA scientists said yesterday. That translates into a shrinking of the heliosphere, the invisible buffer that extends beyond Pluto and guards the planets—ours included—from bombardment by cosmic rays. - Source

09/25/08 - Ultimate Small Business Owner's Resource Guide - Free PDF
KeelyNet When your brother's starting up a new business and keeps asking you for the best places to do things online like send faxes, get legal help, or find a virtual assistant, send him a copy of The Ultimate Small Business Owner's Resource Guide. The book normally costs $35 for a print version, but it's available as a free PDF download here today. The 102-page volume is a compendium of webapps, engines, indices, software, and online tools for small biz owners looking to get things done cheaply and easily. You can find most of these recommendations online with some creative Googling, but the book offers a quick look-up with a well-organized table of contents. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

09/25/08 - Could chick peas help stroke victims recover?
A study into a dietary supplement containing isoflavone found it improved artery function in stroke patients. Heart disease patients who had suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot were split into two groups, with one given isoflavone and the other a placebo. Researchers measured the way the main artery in the arm dilated following an increase in blood flow, known as flow-mediated dilation (FMD). The greater the FMD, the better the artery is working. The results showed the level of poor FMD was similar between the groups at the start, but after 12 weeks the FMD was ‘significantly greater’ in those taking isoflavone. - Source

09/25/08 - "Can you reset the Internet for me?"
KeelyNet Computer help desks are used to fielding oddball requests but sometimes the questions leave even the best of them stumped. Such as: "Why isn't my wireless mouse connected to the computer?" Or: "Can you reset the Internet for me?" Then there was the questioner who asked: "Where can I get software to track UFOs?" He was presumably not the same person who called in to report that "a skunk ate my cable." Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals based in Menlo Park, California, asked 1,400 chief information officers from companies across the United States to come up with the most baffling questions their help desks or technical support teams had ever received.Among the more unusual were: -- "My computer is telling me to press any key to continue. Where is the 'any' key?" -- "Can you rearrange the keyboard alphabetically?" -- "My daughter is locked in the bathroom, can you pick the lock?" -- "Can you tell me the weather forecast for next year?" -- "Can you install cable TV on my PC?" Then there was the computer user who confused the CD-ROM drive with a drink holder and asked: "How do I get my computer's coffee-cup holder to come out again?" - Source

09/25/08 - Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space
Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon "dark flow." The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude. Scientists discovered clusters that were moving nearly 2 million mph (3.2 million kph) toward a region in the sky between the constellations of Centaurus and Vela. This motion is different from the outward expansion of the universe (which is accelerated by the force called dark energy). "We found a very significant velocity, and furthermore, this velocity does not decrease with distance, as far as we can measure," Kashlinsky told SPACE.com. "The matter in the observable universe just cannot produce the flow we measure." said in a telephone interview, astrophysicist Alexander Kashlinksky said, "Most likely to create such a coherent flow they would have to be some very strange structures, maybe some warped space time. But this is just pure speculation." - Source

09/23/08 - CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers
KeelyNet Corporate India is in shock after a mob of sacked workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who had dismissed them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi. Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian-headquartered manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds on Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said. More than 60 people were arrested and more than 20 were in hospital yesterday. In the most high-profile incident so far, thousands of violent protestors recently forced Tata, the Indian conglomerate that owns Land Rover and Jaguar, to halt work on the plant being built to produce the world's cheapest car - the £1,250 Nano. The move could result in nearly £200 million in investment written off. Tata halted work three weeks ago, claiming it could not guarantee its workers safety at the factory in the state of West Bengal. In a rare show of support for a competitor, the billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, one of India's most powerful businessmen, said that the Nano crisis showed how protestors were creating a "a fear-psychosis to slow-down certain projects of national importance." Other companies, including Vedenta, the London-listed mining company, have encountered similar problems in India. - Source

09/23/08 - Food writer McLagan says fat gets bad rap
In her new cookbook, "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes," chef, food stylist and writer Jennifer McLagan challenges medical studies that have linked diet to heart disease. McLagan, whose first book "Bones" won a James Beard Award in 2006, said that up until the last few decades, fat has always had positive connotations, and that the more people deprived themselves of ingredients such as butter, lard and chicken skin, the fatter and sicker they have become. McLagan insists animal fats are not only essential to cooking delicious food, but -- in moderation -- are more easily digested than the alternatives and have other health benefits, like boosting the immune system and lowering bad cholesterol. Q: Why has fat gotten a bad rap? A: "I think it was just misassociated. People were trying to find a reason for the increase in heart attacks and heart disease in the middle of the last century and scientists were looking for a reason and certain theories were proposed. And these were always theories and like everybody, they manipulated the facts to fit. "So they picked out these things and they said animal fat was bad for you and if you ate animal fat you know it will increase your cholesterol, increase your risk of heart attack, but it was never proved. It was only an associated thing. It was never causal. They left out the French, they left out the Inuit, they left out any population that didn't fit into their plan. That was the first thing. And then when the U.S. Congress (adopted it), we started to believe our government rather than our grandmother about what we should eat." - Source

09/23/08 - Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your Mind
KeelyNet Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers. It has a series of sensors and imagers that read your body temperature, heart rate and respiration for unconscious tells invisible to the naked eye — signals terrorists and criminals may display in advance of an attack. It's like an X-ray for bad intentions. When the sensors identify that something is off, they transmit warning data to analysts, who decide whether to flag passengers for further questioning. The next step involves micro-facial scanning, which involves measuring minute muscle movements in the face for clues to mood and intention. Homeland Security has developed a system to recognize, define and measure seven primary emotions and emotional cues that are reflected in contractions of facial muscles. MALINTENT identifies these emotions and relays the information back to a security screener almost in real-time. This whole security array — the scanners and screeners who make up the mobile lab — is called "Future Attribute Screening Technology" — or FAST — because it is designed to get passengers through security in two to four minutes, and often faster. If you're rushed or stressed, you may send out signals of anxiety, but FAST isn't fooled. It's already good enough to tell the difference between a harried traveler and a terrorist. Even if you sweat heavily by nature, FAST won't mistake you for a baddie. Once MALINTENT is rolled out in airports, it could give us a future where we can once again wander onto planes with super-sized cosmetics and all the bottles of water we can carry — and most importantly without that sense of foreboding that has haunted Americans since Sept. 11. - Source

09/23/08 - Popup Study Confirms Most Users Are Idiots
"Testing students at a University, psychologists made many of them click on a dialog box that in effect said: 'You are about to install some malware. Malware is bad. By clicking yes you are failing the Windows Darwin Test.'. Nearly half of them said that all they cared about was getting rid of these dialogs." - Source

09/23/08 - LM317 adjustable voltage regulator
KeelyNet Every project needs a power supply. As 3.3volt logic replaces 5volt systems, we’re reaching for the LM317 adjustable voltage regulator, rather than the classic 7805. We’ve found four different hobbyist-friendly packages for different situations. A simple voltage divider (R1,R2) sets the LM317 output between 1.25volts and 37volts; use this handy LM317 calculator to find resistor values. The regulator does its best to maintain 1.25volts on the adjust pin (ADJ), and converts any excess voltage to heat. Not all packages are the same. Choose a part that can supply enough current for your project, but make sure the package has sufficient heat dissipation properties to burn off the difference between the input and output voltages. - Source

09/23/08 - Gasless Power Wagon for Blackouts, Brownouts, Mobile Electricity
KeelyNet The battery generator Power Wagon debuted at the St. Joseph Grade School Carnival. Paul Wilks, the inventor of the gasless generator, has built a battery powered device which recharges by merely turning the wheels. Charging from the torque of wheels rolling, the device runs lights, air conditioning, refrigerators, and even inflatable slides. The noiseless device charges its batteries by attaching the trailer to the back of a vehicle --- or for that matter a horse and wagon.”It rolls itself,” explained Wilks, adding that it can provide power in remote settings, at construction sites, for emergency situations, or as a gasless alternative to power your home or office. 0A Wilks, who once drove a truck, has been working on the invention about seven years. The idea came from seeing the wheels of trucks turn.” I started piecing it together seven or eight years ago. I did not know if I could make it work.” He envisioned capturing that energy as a substitute for gas. John Howard, manager of M & M Inflatables, Ironton, Ohio, ecstatically stated, “I’ve never seen anything like it before. We could take this places without electricity. It would be great for festivals; it’s not very loud. You can’t hear it run. It saves on gas; it would pay for itself in about a year’s time with us.” On lookers expressed amazement as the device powered machines at the St. Joe carnival. One individual foresaw the device as having a wide variety of military uses (such as providing power in Iraq) or as an asset for THEMA, which faces powerless disasters. Pointing to a set of generator powered lights which the carnival would utilize after dark, Wilks explained “you could put a light system on this that could light up just as much as those.” Wilks indicated that a group of West Virginia University engineers have given a &nbs p;thumbs up for the invention, for which a patent application is pending. “They said it needed to be on the market now,” the inventor said of the WVU examination of the gasless generator. Asked often whether a car could be built to run on it, he grinned and shrugged favorably. But, that project would be too large for him. Still, many of those marveling at the device aptly described it as “the wave for the future.” Wilks can be contacted at (304) 544-4093. He will soon have a website at: http://www.thepowerwagon.com. / And thanks to Robert Nelson at Rex Research for finding the Wilks Patent - Trailer with Integral Axle-Mounted Generator and Battery Charger - US2007051542 - 2007-03-08 - Inventor: WILKS PAUL L - Classification: - international: B60K1/00; B60K1/00; - European: B60L11/18L6 - Abstract -- A working surface incorporates a means for transferring mechanical energy produced by a rotating member of the working surface so that the energy rotates a shaft attached to an alternator that charges a bank of 12 V batteries. The alternator is responsible for converting the mechanical energy being input by the rotating shaft to electrical energy that is fed to the batteries. The batteries transfer the energy into an inverter for use depending upon the required amount. Thereby, backup electrical power may be generated and stored, taking advantage of excess horsepower at cruise provided by a vehicle as well as better utilizing travel time. Additionally, the added cost of ownership and noise of a portable power generator is avoided. - Source

09/23/08 - Solar Pool Skimmer
This pool skimmer floats on the surface of your pool using solar power - and paper towels - to skim away floating debris. Inventors Denis Ruzsa and Terry Maaske have been business partners for 30 years, but this may be their most successful gadget yet. Through Invention Concepts, Ruzsa and Maaske like to look at problems - like how to clean a pool more effectively - and come up with novel solutions. "The stuff on the bottom of the pool is not the problem," Ruzsa says. "The debris is really at the surface." With that observation they were off, creating a device for owners to leave in the pool to do the hassle-filled job of skimming. As Solar Breeze moves across the surface of the pool, the front paddles whisk debris into the filter basket. The filter screen catches large objects, such as leaves. In between the screens is a paper towel that captures dog hair and even the greasy film left by sunscreen. Users must change the paper towels every week, Ruzsa says. It may seem low tech, but he says he and Maaske wanted to avoid expensive filters when a common household product was as effective. The device also has a place to insert chlorine tablets, so Solar Breeze can chlorinate while it cleans. Using solar power also means the product can reduce pool-owner bills up to two-thirds. - Source

09/23/08 - Mitsubishi electric car to get Iceland test run in 2009
KeelyNet It's not just New Zealanders who'll see Mitsubishi's electric i MiEV gently humming its way around their roads next year - Icelanders will too. Iceland claims to get almost all of its electrical energy from hydroelectric and geothermal sources - since the the volcano/island is sitting slap bang on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, we'd hope so - so it's naturally as keen as mustard on renewable resources. Shifting to electric motoring would allow the country to reduce its need for fossil fuels even further - a move it's "aggressively" eager to make. Since it has to be shipped in, petrol's none too cheap in Iceland. That said, according to guide book series Lonely Planet, gas is only 79p a litre - 132 Icelandic Krona, so the locals pay a lot less to run their cars than the Brits do. - Source

09/23/08 - Axcess Micro-Wireless IDs Proven in Live Miner Tracking Safety Demo
Micro-Wireless IDs attached to personnel in the mine were tracked as they moved throughout the mine's tunnel on September 12. The system also successfully provided real-time location information for miner tags following a simulated mine cave-in to show the robust nature of the entire communications system design that can be used to ensure the safety of the more than 344,000 miners in close to 15,000 mines in the United States alone. The AX5 wireless access point equipment is based upon Architron's XRF patented technology, which is designed specifically for rugged environments. It is capable of carrying voice, email, video and miner position data to the surface reliably. The miner locating capability is based on Axcess' Micro-Wireless IDs or tags, which come in multiple form factors and can be carried by the miners in various ways including being attached to the miners' helmets. The tags turn-on automatically as miners enter the mine and provide regular identifying transmissions to embedded receivers within the AX5 access point package. Transmissions are provided in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved 433 MHz frequency band, which is inherently more robust than Wi-Fi signals operating at 2.4 GHz from ID devices in mines. Real-time location data tells where the miner is at all times, and the tags include options for sensing and panic alarms as enhanced safety features. The software includes pre-programmed alarm detection filters that automatically alert first responders to a disaster and provide a visual display of the miner's location. Other wireless technologies such as cell phones, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not well suited to these solutions because of their cost, size and power consumption. Micro-Wireless transmissions occur in the 315-433 MHz UHF frequency band, are regulated by the FCC and do not require separate licensing. Axcess' unique Micro-Wireless implementation is based on a "dual-active" architectural design, where the wireless tags lie dormant until activated by a pre-programmed condition or by movement through a wireless activation field at a doorway or other control point. Alternatively, the tags can beacon at regular intervals for easy accounting. Axcess' battery-powered (also called "active") Dot tags include bar codes and short range Electronic Product Code (EPC) RFID capability along with long range transmission capability of up to 1000 feet. - Source

09/23/08 - Aussie Solar Panel could halve solar cost
Household roofs would be kitted out with rows of mini-troughs, made of mirrors, if the project gets off the ground. For now, eco-conscious households must install separate solar hot water heaters and solar electricity panels at a total average cost of around $16,000, excluding government rebates. The high cost is a barrier to some homes going solar. But researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra think the new "two-in-one" invention could cost much less – around $5,000-$10,000, at a rough guess. "Obviously, for the simple reason because it generates electricity and hot water simultaneously in the one system," Dr Skryabin said. "I think it should be significantly cheaper and more efficient." Dr Skryabin said an average-sized installation would provide enough hot water to run a household, and between half and two-thirds of the power needed for an energy-efficient household. The new panels consist of thin troughs made up of mirrors. The mirrors concentrate the sun's rays onto a solar strip, which runs along the troughs. The strip generates electricity. The strip also contains treated water, which heats up with the sun. That heat is conveyed into the home's hot water system. The cost of going solar now is based on $13,000 for a small solar electricity array, and $3,000 for a solar hot water heater. Prices can vary widely and partial government rebates are available. - Source

09/23/08 - MIT develops solar panels which track the sun without motors
Students at MIT participating in the annual MADMEC (Making And Designing Materials Engineering Contest) have devised a zero-input energy solution which allows solar panel arrays to track the sun's movement thereby increasing solar panel efficiency by 38% over stationary panels. Borrowing from the very technology used to track the sun by plants coupled to the relatively primitive approach used in coil-based temperature gauges, the device is basically a temperature sensor that responds mechanically to changes in heat. Constructed from bimetal aluminum and steel, two materials which expand at different rates when exposed to identical changes in temperature, the device is built into a type of arch affixed permanently at one side and attached to a pivot arm on the other. As the sun moves it heats up different portions along the arch causing it to flex and bend to varying extents allowing the solar panel to track with the sun's movement, as per the expansion of the arch. The idea of having completely autonomous solar panel tracking mechanisms is very exciting, especially in developing nations where an additional 38% efficiency would be most desirable. Solar panels that orient themselves are so much more efficient than stationary models, albeit more costly, that the extra energy they generate more than makes up for the small amount of energy required to track the sun through movement by electric motors and tiny computers which compute the angle at various points throughout the day. This team's solution will simply do the same job less costly and without parts which will more easily wear out over time. - Source

09/23/08 - Energy Saving Ambient Air Clothes Dryer
KeelyNet An energy saving ambient air clothes dryer is one step closer to becoming a fixture consumers’ homes. Recently out of prototype testing, the ambient air dryer utilizes less energy than conventional natural gas and 220V electrical element clothes driers because it employs 110V and 12V power sources, and can be modified to run on solar power as well. Additionally, the ambient air dryer, which works by circulating 20 times more air, does not heat damage clothes or present fire hazard because it does not create a flame to heat air to dry clothes. Instead of using heated air to dry clothes, the ambient air dryer utilizes a patented design to continually circulate twenty times more air through an 18 inch intake and exhaust system. Because of the amount of air the ambient air dryer circulates, it is able to dry clothes in the same amount of time as a conventional dryer, but without the fire hazard and heat damaging the clothes. / And thanks to Robert Nelson at Rex Research for finding the Ford Patent - US7340848 (B2) - Ambient air clothes dryer - Classification: - international: F26B11/02; F26B11/00; - European: D06F58/02 - Also published as: - US7340848 (B2) - US7178265 (B2) - US2006254083 (A1) - US2006107548 (A1) - Abstract -- The ambient air clothes dryer is an automated device providing axial flow of unheated ambient air through the dryer drum. The dryer may include different drum drive systems, timer and/or humidity detector controls, and a configuration utilizing a separate, portable fan for temporary, removable installation with the dryer housing to provide airflow through the drum. The ambient air dryer greatly reduces energy requirements for drying laundry when compared to conventional heated air dryers, and is quite effective in warm and/or dry climates. The ambient air dryer is portable and may be used indoors or outdoors. The device may be configured to use twelve-volt power from a motor vehicle for use in camping. When used indoors, the device may be placed with a heat source (heat register, etc.) to draw warm air through the drum while humidifying the air as it passes through damp laundry in the drum. - Source

09/23/08 - Sensor System Runs On Electricity Generated By Trees
The U.S. Forest Service currently predicts and tracks fires with a variety of tools, including remote automated weather stations. But these stations are expensive and sparsely distributed. Additional sensors could save trees by providing better local climate data to be used in fire prediction models and earlier alerts. However, manually recharging or replacing batteries at often very hard-to-reach locations makes this impractical and costly. The new sensor system seeks to avoid this problem by tapping into trees as a self-sustaining power supply. Each sensor is equipped with an off-the-shelf battery that can be slowly recharged using electricity generated by the tree. A single tree doesn't generate a lot of power, but over time the "trickle charge" adds up, "just like a dripping faucet can fill a bucket over time," said Shuguang Zhang, one of the researchers on the project and the associate director of MIT's Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBE). The system produces enough electricity to allow the temperature and humidity sensors to wirelessly transmit signals four times a day, or immediately if there's a fire. Each signal hops from one sensor to another, until it reaches an existing weather station that beams the data by satellite to a forestry command center in Boise, Idaho. Scientists have long known that trees can produce extremely small amounts of electricity. But no one knew exactly how the energy was produced or how to take advantage of the power. To solve the puzzle of where the voltage comes from, the team had to test a number of theories - many of them exotic. That meant a slew of experiments that showed, among other things, that the electricity was not due to a simple electrochemical redox reaction (the type that powers the 'potato batteries' common in high school science labs. The team also ruled out the source as due to coupling to underground power lines, radio waves or other electromagnetic interference. - Source

09/23/08 - Israel Unleashes First 'Skunk Bomb'
KeelyNet Israeli police say the new crowd-control method, which they call a "skunk bomb," was used for the first time Friday in the village of Naalin. Palestinians have been holding almost daily protests against a security barrier that Israel is building in the area. Israeli police say a water-spraying device showered the liquid on the demonstrators, forcing most to rush off to change their clothes. The weapons are described as an improvement over the rubber bullets and tear gas used previously, and "medical and legal authorities approved the use of the foul-smelling liquid." According to the Jerusalem Post, "some demonstrators described the smell as similar to that of sewage, adding that it was hard to get rid of, even after a shower." - Source

09/23/08 - White roofs, streets could curb global warming
The idea of painting our roofs and roads white to offset global warming is not new, but a recent study has calculated just how significantly white surfaces could impact greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley presented their study at California's annual Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento. If the 100 largest cities in the world replaced their dark roofs with white shingles and their asphalt-based roads with concrete or other light-colored material, it could offset 44 metric gigatons (billion tons) of greenhouse gases, the study shows. That amounts to more greenhouse gas than the entire human population emits in one year, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. The strategy could also offset the growth in carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about 75% of greenhouse gases, for the next 10 years. - Source

09/23/08 - Lab On A Chip: Micro-Sizing Genetic Testing
KeelyNet Using new "lab on a chip" technology, James Landers hopes to create a hand-held device that may eventually allow physicians, crime scene investigators, pharmacists, even the general public, to quickly and inexpensively conduct DNA tests from almost anywhere, without need for a complex and expensive central laboratory. Landers and a team of researchers at U.Va., including mechanical and electrical engineers, with input from pathologists and physicians, are designing a hand-held device — based on a unit the size of a microscope slide — that houses many of the analytical tools of an entire laboratory, in extreme miniature. The unit can test, for example, a pin-prick-size droplet of blood, and within an hour provide a DNA analysis. "In creating these automated micro-fluidic devices, we can now begin to do macro-chemistry at the microscale," Landers said. Such a device could be used in a doctor's office, for example, to quickly test for an array of infectious diseases, such as anthrax, avian flu or HIV, as well as for cancer or genetic defects. Because of the quick turnaround time, a patient would be able to wait only a short time onsite for a diagnosis. Appropriate treatment, if needed, could begin immediately. Currently, test tube-size fluid samples are sent to external labs for analysis, usually requiring a 24- to 48-hour wait for a result. Landers even envisions home DNA test kits, possibly available for purchase from pharmacies, that would allow individuals to self-test for flu or other diseases. - Source

09/21/08 - Nanotechnology, the mysterious Casimir Force, and interstellar spaceships
KeelyNet Scientists have suggested that the quantum mechanics of something called the Casimir effect can be used to produce a locally mass-negative region of space-time, a phenomenon that theoretically could be used to stabilize a wormhole to allow faster than light travel ("Wormholes, Time Machines, and the Weak Energy Condition"). For many years the Casimir effect was little more than a theoretical curiosity. With the advances in micro- and nanotechnology and the fact that the Casimir force affects nanoscale devices such as NEMS, research in detecting and manipulating this mysterious force has generated substantial interest. Now, the secretive DARPA, a research agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that often dabbles in far-out technologies – and that also brought us the Internet's predecessor ARPANET – is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of Casimir Effect Enhancement (Solicitation number DARPA-BAA-08-59. The goal of this program is to develop new methods to detect, control and dynamically manipulate (i.e. switch on and off) attractive and repulsive forces at surfaces based on engineering of the Casimir Force. One could leverage this ability to control phenomena such as adhesion in nanodevices, drag on vehicles and many other interactions of interest to the DoD. The Casimir effect is rooted in one of those spooky sounding real world manifestations of quantum mechanics, namely that even an absolute vacuum is not empty, but bristling with virtual particles that constantly pop in and out of existence and, while here, buzz around for an undefined time. This phenomenon gives vacuum an energy, the so-called zero-point energy. The Casimir force arises from the interaction of the surfaces with the surrounding electromagnetic spectrum, and includes a complex dependence on the full dielectric function of both surfaces and the region between. The complexity of the Casimir force leads to significantly greater possibility for manipulation through materials, geometries, and other phenomena. The significantly greater complexity of the Casimir force potentially allows greater opportunity for neutralization or for use of Casimir forces to partially cancel van der Waals forces. - Source

09/21/08 - Is it Mutant or Health Food?
Don't expect to find irradiated spinach and lettuce in your supermarket any time soon, even though federal regulators have given the food industry permission to sell it. Several hurdles will discourage immediate widespread adoption, including cost, lack of irradiation facilities, concerns about how well it will work and whether consumers will buy produce that's been irradiated to kill dangerous bugs such as E. coli. Most U.S. irradiation facilities treat medical products, and only a handful are set up for food. That means processors will have to pay to ship produce hundreds of miles to be irradiated — losing precious shelf life in the process, Gombas says. Foodmakers could build irradiation facilities. But they'd cost millions of dollars — a big bet for a technology that's been largely shunned by consumers. - Source

09/21/08 - Riding the Waves
KeelyNet Five miles off the southern tip of Long Beach Island, an oversize yellow buoy floats alone, purposefully mounting the waves and occasionally phoning home. With every significant bob of the buoy, pistons slide up and down inside a cylinder, generating electricity. Not much, to be sure. New Jersey waves are small and variable compared to the powerhouses that approach the West Coast. But the test buoy makes enough power to run its onboard computer and other systems, and to send periodic progress reports to its manufacturer, Ocean Power Technologies of Pennington, N.J.. Designs under development - with vivid names such as Wave Dragon, Anaconda and Oceanlinx - range from undulating, snake-like contraptions to massive, in-water ramps that waves climb before falling into a reservoir, generating power in the process. OPT's PowerBuoy requires waves at least four feet high, and Taylor says the design has proven its mettle up to wave heights of about 22 feet. Above that, it automatically shuts down and rides out the storm. - Source

09/21/08 - McCain & Palin are Definitely the Dream-Team for Big Oil
In 2002 and 2005, there were votes in the Senate to require utilities nationwide to generate 10 percent or 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources. Senator McCain voted against renewable electricity every time. And now, with the addition of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the Republican Party presidential campaign, she is less of a friend to the environment than George W. Bush. I know that may be difficult to believe, but remember that Governor Palin is from the state of Alaska whose economy is tied in closely with big oil and gas. John McCain is just as bad. He has been in the pocket of big oil for decades. Long time New York Times columnist, Tom Friedman, called McCain out a few weeks back for not showing up for a crucial vote on extending the investment tax credits for installing solar energy. These are the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficient systems. This was the 8th straight time he missed the vote. - Source

09/21/08 - Tankless water heaters save energy, but not always money
KeelyNet Heating water is one of the biggest parts of a utility bill – as much as 30 percent of gas or electric bills. Most people get their hot water from a traditional water heater with a tank. However, makers of tankless water heaters promise to cut energy costs – some claim by as much as half. Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient because they do not store water and keep it hot. They heat water only when the user needs it. That means they might not deliver hot water like most people are used to, however. According to Consumer Reports' tests, tankless heaters could save $70 to $80 on your annual energy bills, but they are more expensive to install and maintain. The base price tag for tankless water heaters is higher, between $800 and $1,150 compared with $300 to $500 for regular heaters. "Their high cost means, it could take you up to 22 years just to break even, and that's not necessarily a big money-saver," Trotta said. - Source

09/21/08 - Why the Gasoline Engine Isn't Going Away Any Time Soon
With all the glitzy ads, media chatter and Internet buzz about plug-in hybrids that draw power from the electric grid or cars fueled with hydrogen, it's easy to get lulled into thinking that gasoline stations soon will be as rare as drive-in theaters. The idea that auto makers can quickly execute a revolutionary transition from oil to electricity is now a touchstone for both major presidential candidates. That's the dream. Now the reality: This revolution will take years to pull off -- and that's assuming it isn't derailed by a return to cheap oil. Anyone who goes to sleep today and wakes up in five years will find that most cars for sale in the U.S. will still run on regular gas -- with a few more than today taking diesel fuel. That will likely be the case even if the latter-day Rip Van Winkle sleeps until 2020. Engineering and tooling to produce a new vehicle takes three to five years -- and that's without adding the challenge of major new technology. Most car buyers won't accept "beta" technology in the vehicles they and their families depend on every day. - Source

09/21/08 - NASA and the End to Famine
NASA scientists claim to have made a breakthrough that could help to end famine. By condensing water from the air and soil on chilled pipes, their invention attempts to alleviate both water and food shortage problems. It offers the ability to produce agricultural crops in most hot and humid climates by watering plants with condensation from environmental moisture, and by multiplying the number of crops that can be obtained per season. The technology operates in remote areas, using solar energy alone and with a one-time filling of a water tank. - Source

09/21/08 - Detecting Pollution with Living Biosensors
KeelyNet Living biosensors are engineered to glow a particular color in response to a given chemical, have graced petri dishes in research laboratories for decades. But it is only recently that they are being put to practical use, as scientists adapt and deploy them to test for environmental contaminants. Sensor bacteria give faster and cheaper--if somewhat less precise--results than traditional chemical tests do, and they may prove increasingly important in detecting pollutants in seawater, groundwater, and foodstuffs. In preparation for their research expedition, Van der Meer and his team created three different strains of bacteria, each tailored to sense a particular kind of toxic chemical that leeches into seawater from spilled oil. They began with different strains of bacteria that naturally feast upon these chemicals, each releasing specialized enzymes when they come in contact with their chemical of choice. By hooking up the gene for a fluorescent or bioluminescent protein to the cellular machinery that makes those enzymes, the scientists effectively created a living light switch: whenever the chemical was present, the bacteria would glow. For each class of toxic chemical, Van der Meer used a different color protein, so that he could easily determine which chemicals were present based on the wavelength of emitted light. - Source

09/21/08 - The end of a profligate era
We seem to be at the simultaneous end of many eras. The end of some iconic American investment banks (Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch); the end of cheap oil and gas; the end of cheap food; the end of cheap credit; and, with last week's collapse of XL Travel, one business leader commented that it meant the end of cheap travel. The world has faced similar problems before, with the oil shock of the 1970s, which sent inflation spiralling and created huge problems for economies that had relied on cheap energy and food supplies. That shock drove an era of invention, innovation and dramatic improvements in fuel efficiency in and exploitation of previously overlooked resources. It took some time for those benefits to become clear, but arguably we've been milking their benefits for the past couple of decades. Now, we are starting again. Once again we're going to need innovation and invention and resourcefulness. - Source and check out my Lab Project Proposal to help resolve some of these problems if you'd like to help make it so.

09/21/08 - Einstein fridge design can help global cooling
KeelyNet Scientists relaunch a 1930 invention that uses no electricity and would reduce greenhouse gases. Malcolm McCulloch, an electrical engineer at Oxford who works on green technologies, is leading a three-year project to develop more robust appliances that can be used in places without electricity. His team has completed a prototype of a type of fridge patented in 1930 by Einstein and his colleague, the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard. It had no moving parts and used only pressurised gases to keep things cold. The design was partly used in the first domestic refrigerators, but the technology was abandoned when more efficient compressors became popular in the 1950s. That meant a switch to using freons. Einstein and Szilard's idea avoids the need for freons. It uses ammonia, butane and water and takes advantage of the fact that liquids boil at lower temperatures when the air pressure around them is lower. At one side is the evaporator, a flask that contains butane. 'If you introduce a new vapour above the butane, the liquid boiling temperature decreases and, as it boils off, it takes energy from the surroundings to do so,' says McCulloch. 'That's what makes it cold.' Pressurised gas fridges based around Einstein's design were replaced by freon-compressor fridges partly because Einstein and Szilard's design was not very efficient. But McCulloch thinks that by tweaking the design and replacing the types of gases used it will be possible to quadruple the efficiency. He also wants to take the idea further. The only energy input needed into the fridge is to heat a pump, and McCulloch has been working on powering this with solar energy. 'No moving parts is a real benefit because it can carry on going without maintenance. This could have real applications in rural areas,' he said. - Source

09/21/08 - Nashville pumps dry after panic about rumor of no gas
Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy: An estimated three-fourths of gas stations in the Nashville, Tennessee, area ran dry Friday, victim of an apparent rumor that the city was running out of gas. What happened? "Everybody has just gone nuts," said Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council. He said he has no idea about the origin of a rumor that there was going to be no gas in Nashville. One reporter called him, saying she had heard that Nashville would be without gas within the hour, he said. Hearing the rumor, drivers rushed to fill their cars and trucks. - Source

09/21/08 - US Army To Develop "Thought Helmets"
"Time Magazine reports on a $4 million US Army contract to begin developing 'thought helmets' to harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops that the Army hopes will 'lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.' The Army's initial goal is to capture brain waves with software that translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. 'It'd be radio without a microphone,' says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. 'Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way.' The key challenge will be to develop software able to pinpoint speech-related brain waves and pick them up with a 128-sensor array that ultimately will be buried inside a helmet. Scientists deny charges that they're messing with soldiers' minds. 'A lot of people interpret wires coming out of the head as some sort of mind reading,' says Dr. Mike D'Zmura. 'But there's no way you can get there from here.' One potential civilian spin-off: a Bluetooth Helmet so people nearby can't hear you when you talk on your cell phone." - Source

09/21/08 - 5 Retarded Space Travel Ideas (That Might Actually Work)
KeelyNet This whole space travel thing has gotten pretty boring ever since we landed on the moon. We can't make it to another planet and none of our ships have lasers. What the hell is the point? But there were some incredibly awesome technologies that never made it off the drawing board. All because we didn't have the foresight, there wasn't enough funding, and they sounded like they were made up by a kindergartner. - Source

09/21/08 - Will memristors prove irresistible?
Hewlett-Packard Labs is attempting to catapult the memristor, the fourth passive circuit element after resistors, capacitors and inductors, into the electronics mainstream. Invented in 1971, this "memory resistor" represents a potential revolution in electronic-circuit theory akin to the invention of the transistor -- and perhaps its time has finally come. But as with that earlier device, it will take a killer application to get it off the ground. "When HP started work on the crossbar several years ago, they were 40 or 50 times denser than flash," said Reynolds. "But now they are only about three times denser than flash." To stay ahead, he said, HP will have to figure out how to boost the memristor's current density of 100 Gbits/cm2 "to a terabit in a square centimeter." - Source

09/21/08 - McCain Freeze Would Chill Science
KeelyNet Next year's federal budget may not contain a penny more for research and education if Republican Senator John McCain (AZ) is elected U.S. president and has his way with Congress. An aide to the McCain campaign delivered that sober fiscal message today to science lobbyists, who pressed him unsuccessfully for leeway in the candidate's promise to curb federal spending by imposing a 1-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending. "The purpose of the freeze is to evaluate each and every program, looking at which ones are worthwhile and which are a waste of taxpayer dollars," Ike Brannon, an economist and senior policy adviser to McCain, told the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation at a private gathering in Washington, D.C. The task force, a coalition of scientific and professional societies, had heard a more upbeat message in July from aides for Democratic Senator Barack Obama (IL), who has proposed doubling over 10 years the budgets of a host of U.S. science agencies. - Source

09/21/08 - Kipkay Hacks on Video
Here you will find Kip "Kipkay" Kedersha's how-to DIY videos, the world famous Laser Flashlight and Unlock Handcuffs videos and a wide variety of cool content! I am proud to be Metacafe's Top Producer and enjoy making videos that are fun and interesting. Be sure to read the FAQ for answers to questions I get all the time. - Source

09/19/08 - New Brazilian Keppe Motor Captures Vacuum Energy for higher efficiency
KeelyNet Brazilian scientists have announced the development of a breakthrough new motor that they hope will soon power everything from cars to industrial equipment. Just like solar panels capture energy from the sun, the Keppe Motor captures energy from the so called "vacuum" of space -- which it turns out is no vacuum at all. The motor is named for Brazilian scientist Dr. Norberto Keppe, whose book The New Physics proposes an ambitious new direction in our planet's technological philosophy. The Keppe Motor is the first tangible invention arising from the ideas outlined in this book. Keppe worked with scientists Cesar Soos and Roberto Frascari of the STOP the Destruction of the World Association, an international group working for the preservation of life and nature. They were able to create an electric motor following Keppe's principles that requires significantly less electricity to generate power than a normal motor -- more than 75% less electricity to be precise. "People tend to believe that electricity comes from batteries, electrical outlets, etc.," Soos says. "What we are showing is that the traditional process of electricity actually signifies a loss of energy. That's why electric cars are so difficult to develop. Our process works with what we could call a non-entropic energy. So it's much more efficient." - See a demonstration of the Keppe Motor and meet the inventors. Monday, Sept. 22 from 10:00 - 11:00 am, L.A. Press Club, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA. After a question-and-answer session following the demonstration, Soos and Frascari will be available for one-on-one interviews. Light refreshments will be served. - Source. Additional information in Portugese which I translated using Yahoo. - The engine was invented by a team of researchers of Association STOP the Destruction of the World, on the basis of the principles presented in the book the New Physics of Desinvertida Metaphysics, of Norberto Keppe, that step by step guided the construction of the device. In this interview with participants of the team of the STOP that developed the device? the brothers Robert and Alexander Frascari and Cesar Soós? they explain as this machine functions, that directly catches most of its energy of the space, and only small part of the conventional electric net. According to them innumerable national plants are in contact for manufacture of household-electric, that it would be the first application I invent of it. Keppe sample that the substance and the movement happen of the energy and not contrary it; the empty, free space of substance, that is, the proper vacuum, is made of pure energy, which Keppe calls Essential Energy, therefore without it nothing it can exist or subsistir. According to theory displayed in the book the New Physics of Desinvertida Metaphysics, Keppe, the electricity happens of a primordial energy for it called Essential Energy (or To scale). This energy contains two components, one of action and another one of complementation. A conventional electric engine works with only one of these components - either happened it of a source of continuous feeding or alternated? e this causes to losses undesirable and consequent reduction of efficiency. The Keppeano Engine works with the two components of the essential Energy, what it increases its income significantly. The Keppeano Engine is a cold electric engine that, beyond making possible the use of lighter and cheap carcasses, also dismissal costs with refrigeration in environments of intense work where the heat of the engines influences significantly for the increase of the temperature. The Keppeano Engine does not need oil or gas and uses electricity much less to function and is completely free of carbonic gas emissions. It can substitute many types of existing traditional engines, he becomes what it immediately useful to fight the global heating and to reduce the pollution. The engine also helps the human being in the health, therefore it does not emit prjudicial electromagnetic energy to the beings livings creature. It can be applied immediately in the industrial production, machines for health, half-environment and areas of transport. FACTORS MOTOR CONVENTIONAL ENGINE KEPPEANO - Speed (rotations per minute? rpm) 1350 rpm 1350 rpm - tension 127 V 127 V - chain 0,5 the 0.1 - consumption 60 W 12 W - economy 80% - Cost of production 50%. Graphical above the sample that two engines same transport and function, working side by side in the same conditions, being one the traditional engine and another one the keppeano, this consumes much less, generating a 80% economy, beyond having a cost of production 50% minor. / The motor is currently patent pending at NIIP (the National Institute of Industrial Patents) in Brazil under the name of the STOP the Destruction of the World Association, and was developed by the Association’s Department of Technological Research. Email if you're interested in more information: motor@stop.org.br / Download both PDF books for $24.95 - “The New Physics Derived from A Disinverted Metaphysics” - By Norberto R Keppe, Ph.D And the companion volume: The ABC’s of The New Physics Study Guide - Available now for immediate download!

09/19/08 - A 'novel' chemistry to make fuel from sugar
It’s not alchemy, but it might sound like it: a new way to transform sugars from plants into gasoline, diesel or even jet fuel by passing the sugars over exotic materials. This chemical trick uses nano-sized particles to produce plant-based gasoline that can be used in existing vehicles in place of petroleum-based fuels. But because they would be made from corn, switchgrass or other plants — which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow — the fuels would emit less net carbon dioxide than normal gasoline. While the process is not yet ready for large-scale production, Dumesic’s team was able to convert about 65 percent of the energy in the sugar into gasoline using their laboratory-scale process. Most of the lost energy ends up in gases such as ethane and propane, which if captured could serve as a replacement for natural gas. An alloy of the precious metals platinum and rhenium triggers the first step of the conversion. Dumesic and his colleagues deposited 2-nanometer-wide specks of this alloy onto surfaces made of pure carbon. When a liquid mixture of water and plant sugar flows over the platinum-rhenium particles at the right temperature and pressure, the metal atoms act as catalysts to cleave chemical bonds in the sugar, releasing oxygen and leaving behind a mixture of molecules containing carbon and hydrogen — the principal elements in gasoline and diesel. - Source

09/19/08 - Computer Analyzes U.S. Presidental Speeches
KeelyNet A mathematics and computer science researcher at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in Canada has been analyzing the words and facial expressions used during speeches at the presidential party conventions. He found that, in general, Barack Obama's speeches contain the most "spin," while John McCain's speeches showed the least spin -- but also showed signs of someone with CLINICAL DEPRESSION. - Source

09/19/08 - Diseases Linked To Common Plastic Chemicals
A study has for the first time linked a common chemical used in everyday products such as plastic drink containers and baby bottles to health problems, specifically heart disease and diabetes. Until now, environmental and consumer activists who have questioned the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA, have relied on studies showing harm from exposure in laboratory animals. But British researchers, who published their findings on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed urine and blood samples from 1,455 U.S. adults aged 18 to 74 who were representative of the general population. Using government health data, they found that the 25 percent of people with the highest levels of bisphenol A in their bodies were more than twice as likely to have heart disease and, or diabetes compared to the 25 percent of with the lowest levels. BPA is used to make polycarbonate plastic, a clear shatter-resistant material in products ranging from baby and water bottles to plastic eating utensils to sports safety equipment and medical devices. It also is used to make durable epoxy resins used as the coating in most food and beverage cans and in dental fillings. People can consume BPA when it leaches out of plastic into liquid such as baby formula, water or food inside a container. In the study, the team said the chemical is present in more than 90 percent of people, suggesting there is not much that can be done to avoid the chemical of which over 2.2 million tons is produced each year. - Source

09/19/08 - Stem Cell Therapy Lessens Damage Caused By Stroke
KeelyNet In recent studies, scientists have observed stem cells acting as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing swelling and even scarring when administered to injured tissue. Darwin Prockop, director of the Center for Gene Therapy, has found that injecting human stem cells into the brains of stroke-induced mice triggers immune cells to produce chemicals that protect nerve cells, thereby reducing swelling and scarring. “In diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, there is an excessive early inflammatory response, and stem cells can sense that,” says Prockop. “If you can turn that inflammation down, everything improves.” Although the injected stem cells disappeared after just five days, the researchers found that they had a lasting effect on surrounding brain cells. Mice treated with stem cells experienced 60 percent less cell death compared with mice who did not receive the treatment. Furthermore, when placed in an open environment, the treated mice behaved much like healthy mice, actively exploring the space around them, unlike their more lethargic untreated counterparts. - Source

09/19/08 - 7th-Grader Designs Three Dimensional Solar Cell
"12-year-old William Yuan's invention of a highly-efficient, three-dimensional nanotube solar cell for visible and ultraviolet light has won him an award and a $25,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. 'Current solar cells are flat and can only absorb visible light'" Yuan said. 'I came up with an innovative solar cell that absorbs both visible and UV light. My project focused on finding the optimum solar cell to further increase the light absorption and efficiency and design a nanotube for light-electricity conversion efficiency.' Solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells. 'My next step is to talk to manufacturers to see if they will build a working prototype,' Yuan said. "If the design works in a real test stage, I want to find a company to manufacture and market it."" - Source

09/19/08 - Flash Drive Bottle Opener
KeelyNet In a desperate attempt to provide practical functionality to yet another USB flash drive, TrekStor unveiled a USB DRIVE THAT DOUBLES AS A BOTTLE OPENER. It ships next month for $70. / The USB stick CO has a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connection for extra-fast data transfer (read rate: 25 MB/s, write rate 12 MB/s). It is bootable, pre-formatted and ready for immediate use without a driver. The USB stick CO is suitable for Windows® 2000, XP, Vista, Mac® OS X and Linux® from Kernel 2.6.x. It is available with 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 GB of memory. The USB stick CO is available for between EUR 6.99 and EUR 49.99. - Source

09/19/08 - Bob Barr Files Suit in Texas to Remove McCain, Obama from Ballot
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party's nominee for president, has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding Senators John McCain and Barack Obama be removed from the ballot after they missed the official filing deadline. "The seriousness of this issue is self-evident," the lawsuit states. "The hubris of the major parties has risen to such a level that they do not believe that the election laws of the State of Texas apply to them." Texas election code §192.031 requires that the “written certification” of the “party’s nominees” be delivered “before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before election day.” Because neither candidate had been nominated by the official filing deadline, the Barr campaign argues it was impossible for the candidates to file under state law. "Supreme Court justices should recognize that their responsibility is to apply the law as passed by the Legislature, and the law is clear that the candidates cannot be certified on the ballot if their filings are late," says Drew Shirley, a local attorney for the Barr campaign, who is also a Libertarian candidate for the Texas Supreme Court. Orrin Grover, attorney for Bob Barr and Wayne Root, said that he believes that the Texas Secretary of State is bound by Texas law to remove the Republican and Democratic nominees from the November ballot. "Either we have rules and deadlines, or we do not," Grover said. - Source

09/19/08 - Quantum Sphere 12 Hour Lithium Battery
A patent is not a guarantee that an invention actually works, but patents are sought by inventors who truly believe their invention will work. QuantumSphere, of Santa Ana, California, a leading developer of advanced catalyst materials, electrode devices, and related technologies for portable power and clean-energy applications, has filed a key patent for technology it has developed that extends the capacity of rechargeable lithium ion batteries up to five times. Being modest, the company says a battery using the technology when powering an electric vehicle or laptop computer, would run 12 hours instead of 4. Twelve hours run time would put a lithium-energized vehicle in direct competition with petroleum fueled vehicles. It’s range drivers are seeking in electric vehicles. The patent filing covers a novel electrode structure enriched with nano lithium particles that increases the fuel source in a rechargeable lithium ion battery, thus increasing battery life. The company has had some success with its inventions. QuantumSphere developed a high-rate, paper-thin, nano-enabled electrode for disposable batteries. The patent pending air-electrode design increased power output by 320 percent in zinc-air cells, providing roughly 4 times more power than equivalent sized alkaline batteries. The technology is expected to be commercialized in 2009. - Source

09/19/08 - What is this Volt thingy, anyhow?
KeelyNet Apparently lost in all the hype over General Motors Corp.'s reveal of its Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle — a.k.a. the greatest American invention since the automatic bread slicer — is exactly what the darn thing is and how it works. The not-yet-rolling hypemobile isn't due out until late 2010, but GM has essentially bet the farm on its success, putting a lot of cash (around $500 million in R&D alone) and a lot more of its image and public goodwill at risk. If the car succeeds, it could be a quantum leap for the struggling company. If it fails, well, pretty it won't be. GM has sworn that it will get 40 miles on the battery alone, and another 320 miles once the 1.4-liter gasoline generator kicks in. But it hasn't said how many gallons of gas the Volt's tank will hold, so it's hard to say how many miles per gallon GM expects it will get on generated power. To get a sense of what it would cost to operate the Volt on battery power, a little math is in order. The Volt battery has a 16 kilowatt/hour capacity, but to preserve battery life (think of a laptop battery), GM has tweaked it so that only half of that is drawn upon, for a total of 8 kilowatt/hours per charge. The average consumer price per kw/h in 2006 (the most recent data available) was 10.4 cents, according to the Energy Information Administration.That works out to 83.2 cents per charge, or 2.08 cents per mile. GM officials say the purpose of the gasoline generator is to give drivers the peace of mind that if they need to go far, they can, but that the most efficient use of it will be daily trips under 40 miles or so. - Source

09/19/08 - Soviet Jet Train - Some More History
KeelyNet In our recent publications we’ve told once about the strange Soviet projects of terrestrial and water vehicles (a train and a ship) with jet engines. If you are looking for more, here are some additional facts about the train. SVL (Russian abbreviation of “high-speed laboratory car”) was developed in Kalininsky carriage-building factory in the far 1970. Based on the train model ER22 it was able to move by means of two engines from the passenger jet Yak-40, installed at the front. During the tests SVL has gained the top speed around 180 mph. For some unknown reason that tests have become the end of it’s life. Now it’s rusty fragments still can be found in the territory of Kalininsky factory. - Source

09/19/08 - Invention: Oil-sands digester
Oil sands are naturally occurring mixtures of clay, sand, water and extremely viscous bitumen. Such deposits in Canada alone are thought to contain 173.7 billion barrels of oil, a source of oil second in size only to Saudi Arabia. The extreme viscosity of oil sands, though, makes them very expensive to mine, and difficult to process when they have been dug up, although the recent dramatic increase in oil prices is making extraction commercially viable. They propose a way to "upgrade" oil sands while they are still in the ground, starting the refining process early, and making them flow more easily. Their method is to pump hydrogen and particles of a catalyst down into a well while simultaneously heating the oil sands. That breaks the long chain hydrocarbons in the bitumen into smaller molecules that flow better and are easier to pump and store. As well as making it easier to pump, Carter and his team say that "down-hole upgrading" reduces the amount and cost of equipment and storage facilities needed on the surface. - Source

09/19/08 - How Fractals Can Explain What's Wrong with Wall Street
KeelyNet The geometry that describes the shape of coastlines and the patterns of galaxies also elucidates how stock prices soar and plummet. The risk-reducing formulas behind portfolio theory rely on a number of demanding and ultimately unfounded premises. First, they suggest that price changes are statistically independent of one another: for example, that today’s price has no influence on the changes between the current price and tomorrow’s. As a result, predictions of future market movements become impossible. The second presumption is that all price changes are distributed in a pattern that conforms to the standard bell curve. The width of the bell shape (as measured by its sigma, or standard deviation) depicts how far price changes diverge from the mean; events at the extremes are considered extremely rare. Typhoons are, in effect, defined out of existence. I claim that variations in financial prices can be accounted for by a model derived from my work in fractal geometry. Fractals—or their later elaboration, called multifractals—do not purport to predict the future with certainty. But they do create a more realistic picture of market risks. An extensive mathematical basis already exists for fractals and multifractals. Fractal patterns appear not just in the price changes of securities but in the distribution of galaxies throughout the cosmos, in the shape of coastlines and in the decorative designs generated by innumerable computer programs. A fractal is a geometric shape that can be separated into parts, each of which is a reduced-scale version of the whole. On a practical level, this finding suggests that a fractal generator can be developed based on historical market data. The actual model used does not simply inspect what the market did yesterday or last week. It is in fact a more realistic depiction of market fluctuations, called fractional Brownian motion in multifractal trading time. The charts created from the generators produced by this model can simulate alternative scenarios based on previous market activity. These techniques do not come closer to forecasting a price drop or rise on a specific day on the basis of past records. But they provide estimates of the probability of what the market might do and allow one to prepare for inevitable sea changes. - Source

09/19/08 - Can nanoscopic meadows drive electric cars forward?
KeelyNet Nanoscale meadows of grass and flowers could hold the key to increasing the amount of energy that can be stored in ultracapacitors, devices tipped to replace batteries in high-demand applications like electric cars. Batteries are slow to recharge because they store energy chemically. By contrast, capacitors, which are common in electronics, are short-term stores of electrical energy that charge almost instantaneously but hold little energy. In recent years capacitors able to store thousands of times as much energy as standard ones, called ultracapacitors, have been developed, leading experts to suggest they could power future devices and even electric cars. Ultracapacitors are simple devices. They are charged by applying a voltage to two electrodes suspended in a solution so that positive ions head to one electrode and negative ions to the other. Energy is stored because the electrodes are coated with a porous material that soaks up ions like a sponge, usually activated carbon. Improvements in ultracapacitor capacity so far have come from making those carbon sponges with more pores. Colleagues at Peking University have taken a different approach. They store ions in manganese oxide (MnO), a material with a much greater capacity for ions than activated carbon. However, although MnO holds ions well, it has a high electrical resistance, making it difficult to charge it with voltage to attract ions in the first place. The researchers addressed that by creating a "nanomeadow" of microscopic structures, 'fuzzy flowers of MnO' each about 100 nanometres across on a field of messy carbon nanotube grass grown on a tantalum metal foil. Each flower attaches to at least two of the blades of grass, which act like electron superhighways, says Zhang, forming strong electrical connections to the flowers. The usually resistant MnO can then be charged up to attract the ions it can store so well. As a result, the nanomeadow performs 10 times better than MnO alone and can store twice as much charge as the carbon-based electrodes in existing ultracapacitors. Zhang says that the nanomeadow's complex structure is resistant to the mechanical degradation that reduces the performance of ultracapacitors over time. The energy capacity of the new device drops by just 3% after 20,000 charge and discharge cycles, better than other high-capacity designs. - Source

09/19/08 - Physics for Future Presidents: The Podcasts
Richard A. Muller’s engaging and engrossing new book Physics for Future Presidents is a perfectly-pitched introduction to the science behind the headlines for aspiring world leaders and news junkies who care about the details. The book grew from a series of popular lectures Muller gave at UC Berkeley which embraced a range of general topics like nuclear terrorism, cold fusion and climate change that have been widely reported in the news, but rarely completely understood. The lectures were recorded for podcast, click on the links below to join Muller’s students on a freewheeling tour though some of the most pressing issues in modern science, pitched perfectly at the intelligent layman rather than the physics graduate. Audio quality can be variable, but the ideas never fail to enthrall...Physics for future presidents (MP3 download, Nuclear Weapons (MP3 download) and The physics of sound, and something about UFOs (MP3 download). - Source

09/19/08 - EFF Sues NSA, Bush, Cheney to Stop Illegal Surveillance
KeelyNet The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance. - Source

09/19/08 - Turning Bacteria into Plastic Factories
A new company has found a way to produce polymers from genetically engineered microbes that feed on sugars, replacing fossil-fuel based processes. Scientists at San Diego–based Genomatica, Inc., have announced success in manipulating the bacteria to directly produce butanediol (BDO), a chemical compound used to make everything from spandex to car bumpers, thereby providing a more energy-efficient way of making it without oil or natural gas. The E. coli can be grown in large fermentation tanks, exactly like those used to brew ethanol from corn, and have also been genetically tweaked to tolerate high concentrations of BDO in their water. "Originally, BDO was toxic to E. coli at fairly low levels but we evolved the organism such that it now tolerates the concentration we need it to grow at," Schilling says. "We grow the bacteria in sugar and water to produce the product, then purify and separate that product out of that water." - Source

09/17/08 - Additional Info on the Filipino Aerogas Power Injector device
KeelyNet Based on tests by government agencies, including the departments of energy, science and technology and environment and natural resources, Ayco’s invention can increase engine power by 35 to 60 percent, mileage by two to four kilometers to a liter, and engine life span by six to 10 years. The tests also show that the gadget can cut down maintenance costs by up to 50 percent, can prolong life span of spark plugs and glow plugs, can decrease frequency of tune-ups and oil changes, and can reduce carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions by 99.5 percent. Ayco also says his gadget is not bulky and easy to install without having to alter engine as it can just be attached to the engine air intake manifold. Suitable to most types of stationary and mobile combustion engines, the gadget can also last six to eight years and can be recharged after maximum use. Ayco says that two important substances used in his gas-saving gadget are carbon and hydrogen derived from limestone. If taken a step farther, these limestone-derived substances combined with water plus a catalyst, which again he will not disclose, can produce synthetic fuel, which is much cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuels. “My car actually runs on this synthetic fuel,” he says. In the meantime, Ayco and his business partners are busy marketing the aero-nitro power injector not only locally but also in Canada, Belgium and other countries. At P9,000 per unit and with a 10-year warranty, where payments may be returned if one is not satisfied with the performance, Ayco’s invention is making brisk sales in urban communities seeking to reduce air pollution. / The Standard design of an engine works in two ways chemical process (combustion) and mechanical process (motion).The chemical process involves the combustion of fuel. Be it gasoline, diesel or bunker, this fuel is made up mainly of hydrogen and carbon (Hydrogen). Ordinarily, when combustion occurs, the fuel containing hydrocarbons is not completely burned. The unburned carbon stick to the chamber walls of the engine and the gaseous form of these carbons is emitted from the exhaust pipes of vehicles as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide which are metal corrosive and air pollutants detrimental to the engine and the environment,” Ayco said. Aerogas Power Injector works on the chemical process by sucking air composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 20 percent oxygen and 3 percents others, then converting it into active elements ( nitrogen base elements) which react with the elements of the fuel (hydrocarbons ) during air intake process. When these elements reacted with the hydrocarbons of the fuel , 98 percent to 100 percent comstion is made possible. This is how the Aerogas Power Injector works toward a more economical and efficient engine performance and pollution-free Philippines,” Ayco added. Aerogas Power Injector , an advanced engineering design can increase engine power from 60 percent , increase mileage from 2 to 4 kilometers a liter. It cuts down maintenance costs by 50 percent by prolonging the lifespan of spark/glow plugs, as well as decreasing frequency on tune-ups and change oil. / INCREASE POWER FUEL SAVER & AIR POLLUTION ELIMINATOR - Burns excess fuel and converts it into engine maximum power. No detonation most destruction in internal combustion engine. No carbon monoxide to prolong engine overheating. No detonation or carbon in combustion to prolong engine change oil up to 2 year. Cuts down maintenance cost by 50%. Increase mileage from 2 to 4 km /liter. Minimizes the frequency of tune-ups. Applicable to gas and diesel fed and stationary engine. Place of Origin: Manila, Philippines - Price: $25 per pc - Contact Email and Aerogas Product Query. (Direct Vendor Contact: Orlando Marquez, Energy Philippines, Inc., Ayala Avenue corner Malugay St., Bo. San Antonio, Makati City, tel no:(63-2) 888-2132 /(63-2) 887-3621) and/or Ronald Talion 63 9193352111 / 632 8377850 / Fax 632 8377850 / Address : 25 Buendia Ave., Palanan,Makati City. - Source

09/17/08 - Philipine Patent #5966 - Fuel Economizer 12/11/1985 Status Expired
KeelyNet Inventor - Ayco, Victorio G. of Manila, PH - Abstract - The construction of a fuel economizer to be connected to an internal combustion engine comprising an outer cylindrical chamber consisting of an outer cylinder provided with a top cap and a bottom cap welded and connected thereto, said bottom cap being provided with a plurality of perforations and a tube having one end extended inwardly and connected to the top cap and the other end being provided with a regulatory valve and a hose leading to the intake manifold of the carburetor towards the internal combustion chamber of the engine; an inner cylindrical chamber disposed within said outer cylindrical chamber consisting of an inner cylinder having at least one hole disposed substantially on the middle portion thereof and is also being provided with an upper cap and lower cap welded and connected thereto, said upper cap is fixedly connected to the inwardly extended end of said tube, and a gauge being saturated with chemical mixture such as lime and a weak acidic liquid solution placed inside said inner cylindrical chamber and which has to be dried first before final completion. / Youtube - Magnesium and Calcium reacting with Hydrochloric Acid. - A clip of Magnesium and then Calcium metal reacting with Hydrochloric Acid. Firstly Magnesium, and then Calcium. DANGER! This reaction is extremely dangerous! DO NOT attempt unless you are a qualified professional! This reaction was conducted safely under strict laboratory conditions. This reaction releases extremely flammable gasses (hydrogen). / There are three major types of lime and each has its advantages. 1. Ground limestone and calcic limestone—Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3 )—almost pure calcium carbonate, finely ground. Ninety-five percent of all lime used in the United States is calcium carbonate because it is the most abundant and cheapest form of lime. Also, it is not caustic or disagreeable to handle as is burnt or hydrated lime. It may also contain varying amounts of magnesium carbonate. Limestones containing significant amounts of magnesium carbonate are called dolomitic limestones. Dolomitic limestone contains about equal parts of magnesium and calcium carbonate. 2. Burnt lime (CaO)—quick lime, caustic lime—acts more quickly than calcium carbonate. Gloves should be worn when using burnt or hydrated lime. Only the rate of ground limestone is needed since burnt lime is twice as effective in neutralizing. 3. Hydrated lime [Ca(OH)2]—or slaked lime—pound for pound is about 1 times more effective and quicker to react than ground limestone (calcium carbonate). / Calcium is a reactive metal because it can react with cold water to form hydrogen gas and calcium hydroxide. / Magnesium reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to produce hydrogen gas. - Source

09/16/08 - Einstein provides vital clue for Filipino Inventor
A scientist and inventor, Victor G. Ayco sees the crisis as an opportunity for the country to tap the inexhaustible potentials that science can offer in finding alternatives to fossil fuel. “Many seem to anticipate a bleak future because of the prospect that one day the world’s fossil fuel deposits will finally run dry,” says Ayco, 70. “But fossil fuel is not the only source of energy that can run engines of cars and other machines. There are other inexhaustible alternatives [to fossil fuel].” He based his radical optimism on what he regards as a vital clue from one of the geniuses of the 20th century — Albert Einstein. That clue is the theory of relativity, or E=mc², where E is energy, m is mass, and c is the velocity of light. The Mandaluyong-based chemical engineer says Einstein’s theory helped him perfect his gas-saving product, which he demonstrated recently before Baguio City motorists. Essentially, Einstein’s relativity theory, says Ayco, states that “from matter we can produce energy.” His invention called “aero-nitro power injector” took 15 years of research and experiment. Patented on Dec. 11, 1985, the Aerogas Power Injector device has been marketed only recently through Energy Philippines Inc., a private firm, which Ayco co-owns with other partners. The inventor says his device “converts ordinary nitrogen (a noncombustible substance) in the atmosphere into combustible nitro-gas, and serves as gasoline and diesel additive in gaseous form for efficient engine combustion.” With efficient engine combustion, a vehicle can run more kilometers with less fuel and emits almost zero toxic pollutants. / Ayco’s “aero-nitro power injector” is encased in a stainless steel cylinder, measuring five inches long and two inches in diameter, which can be attached to the intake manifold of any diesel or gas engine. He says the gadget enhances engine performance, eliminates smoke-belching, provides stronger engine power, and saves on fuel. Activated chemically during fuel and air intake, the invention harnesses the air’s potential elements by producing up to 99.5 percent burning efficiency of fuel in the combustion chamber of an engine. Ayco says he is processing how to get credits through what is called carbon trading because his invention prevents by 30 to 40 percent the formation of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides -- substances that are ruining the ozone layer. Using a chemical catalyst, which Ayco has refused to identify calling it a trade secret, the gadget converts unwanted carbons and other volatile elements present in the atmosphere into combustible gaseous form. Since the invention helps a car attain perfect fuel burn with near-zero nitrous oxide emission, which gives more power to a vehicle, using the gadget is like converting low octane fuel into high octane gasoline, he says. The gadget also increases engine power by a maximum of 25 horsepower and increases torque by a maximum of 1,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). - Source

09/16/08 - Boy, 12, invents more efficient solar cell
Encouraged by his Meadow Park Middle School science teacher, 12-year-old William Yuan developed a 3D solar cell. Regular solar cells are only 2D and only allow light interaction once," he said. And his cell can absorb both visible and UV light. At first, he couldn't believe his calculations. "This solar cell can't be generating this much electricity, it can't be absorbing this much extra light," he recalled thinking. If he is right, solar panels with his 3D cells would yield nine times more sunlight and absorb 10 percent more energy from the sun - even when it's cloudy. "Which would make solar energy actually a viable energy source for the Pacific Northwest," Yuan said. - Source

09/16/08 - Simple powder to beat 2,400 genetic diseases goes on sale in two years
They hope it could treat 2,400 conditions, including some types of cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as the blood clotting disease haemophilia. Many inherited diseases are caused by mutations in genes which stop cells from making vital proteins. The new drug - known only as PTC124 - makes cells less sensitive to these mutations. Given early enough, PTC124 could even halt the progress of some genetic illnesses - many of which are incurable. The drug comes as a vanilla-flavoured powder to make it easier for patients to take. This would be dissolved in water, milk or juice and taken with meals. Dr Peltz, of PTC Therapeutics, said: 'The difference between this and other drugs is it doesn't [just] treat the symptoms, it treats the underlying cause. 'The drug allows the body to make the lost protein.' It is hoped the drug, which would have to be taken every day for life, could be on the market by 2010. - Source

09/16/08 - Purified New York City tap water
Tap'dNY is a New York City bottled water company with a local twist and knack for honesty. We don't travel the world from Fiji to France seeking water or offer the usual bottled water gimmicks. We work with NYC's public water system to source the world's best tasting tap water, purify it through reverse osmosis and bottle it locally, leaving out ludicrous transportation miles. We offer an honest and local alternative to thirsty New Yorkers, giving them a smarter choice: to drink their own (award winning) water. - Source

09/16/08 - NASA Patents To Be Auctioned
"The sale, which will include rights to signal processing, GPS for spacecraft and sensor technologies, is the first auction under a partnership announced earlier this month between Goddard's Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) and Ocean Tomo Federal Services LLC. Ocean Tomo provides a marketplace for intellectual property, which NASA wants to leverage in commercializing its technology." - Source

09/16/08 - 'Space traffic control' needed in junk-filled orbits
KeelyNet With the era of mass space tourism approaching, and more satellites being launched into the heavens, for global positioning, telecommunications and Earth monitoring, for example, the worry is that spacecraft will collide with the debris from old satellites, rocket stages and the like, potentially risking lives and serious damage to multimillion-dollar space vehicles. Right now, spacecraft follow a carefully synchronised dance in orbit, using signals from ground controllers, who track known debris, to dodge any hypersonic junk. But the sheer volume of stuff in orbit will soon make it difficult to manoeuvre spacecraft without risking an accident. "We do not have clear rules of the road," admits Vladimir Agapov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. "Close and sometimes dangerous operations are now common in some orbits." Action is being taken, however. Space agencies and satellite operators are getting together to try to establish a space traffic control system to ensure spacecraft are safe. And some want to go further still, using robots to retrieve space junk and take it out of orbit. It's not hard to see why they are concerned. There are around 900 active satellites in Earth orbit, and with 10,000 pieces of space junk longer than 10 centimetres, travelling at around 22,000 kilometres per hour, one false move could prove catastrophic. Even a 1-centimetre piece is capable of doing serious damage, depressurising a spacecraft, say. Nicholas Johnson and colleagues at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, are investigating other ways of removing the debris. In a paper to be published in the journal Acta Astronautica, they suggest methods such as increasing the drag on objects near the Earth's atmosphere, so they will burn up more quickly, or employing robotic garbage collectors. They showed that the removal of just five space objects per year, from 2020, would halve the build-up of debris over 200 years. But robots would be an expensive option. What's certain is that space agencies can no longer ignore the debris issue, says Agapov. "The risks of collisions resulting in the destruction of spacecraft could create clouds of new debris objects - which in turn raise the probability of new collisions. That could cause the number of space debris objects to increase in a chain reaction," he warns. - Source

09/16/08 - Chamomile Tea Could Help Prevent Complications Of Diabetes
Drinking chamomile tea daily with meals may help prevent the complications of diabetes, which include loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage, researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom are reporting. - Source

09/16/08 - Peugot’s Concept Cars Of The Future
KeelyNet The car-like vehicles were all entries in the 2008 Peugeot Design Contest. Designers were asked by organizers to create vehicles for that ambiguous but tantalizing “city of the future.” Areas of focus included environmental awareness, “social harmony,” interactive mobility and efficiency. As you can see in the “Blade” vehicle, efficiency is improved with the wind turbine that designer Ying Hui Choo added to charge an on-board electric battery. Emre Yazici’s “EGO” has two wheels and is controlled Atari-style with a joystick. The windshield doubles as the door. - Source

09/16/08 - Pope Makes Another Absurd Statement
People must accept death at "the hour chosen by God," Pope Benedict XVI told ailing pilgrims Monday in an anti-euthanasia message at Lourdes, the shrine that draws the desperate, sick and dying. While several European countries permit euthanasia, the Vatican vehemently maintains that life must continue to its natural end. The pope said in his homily that the ill should pray to find "the grace to accept, without fear or bitterness, to leave this world at the hour chosen by God." - Source

09/16/08 - UAV medical couriers
KeelyNet We’re skeptical about most technology that’s designed to help remote villages (yes, even that one), but these new UAV medical couriers look like a great idea. The turn around time for medical sample analysis in remote South African villages can be excruciating. A team of engineers have attempted to adapt two different unmanned aerial vehicles for transport of medical samples. These could be either blood or saliva that needs testing. Test results would be relayed via phone as they are now, but the initial transport time would be much faster. The larger of the two UAVs can carry up to 500g; that’s enough to haul two units of blood for transfusion. The UAVs can be launched by hand and can survive winds up to 45kph. They fly their preprogrammed routes autonomously and don’t require any operator intervention. The team has flown two successful trials and is waiting for approval from the South African Civil Aviation Authority. For safety, they’re only transporting samples that can be sterilized before flight. New Scientist has a short video... - Source

09/16/08 - New laws could make everyone an organ donor
IT IS a problem faced by countries the world over. How do you close the gap between demand for human organs for transplantation and the number of people willing to donate them? Such is the scale of the problem in the UK, where less than half of the 8000 people needing a transplant each year receive one, that the government is considering changing the law to presumed consent - so that everyone is a potential donor unless they opt out. Earlier this year, UK prime minister Gordon Brown and chief medical officer Liam Donaldson backed the idea. However, many doctors are raising serious doubts about the proposal, partly for ethical reasons but also because of unsolved problems that mean donated organs are not always usable. - Source

09/16/08 - Live Underground For Cheap
KeelyNet The $50 & Up Underground House Book teaches how to build the lowest cost, most sunshine-filled, best ventilated and driest underground houses of all. It teaches how to incorporate greenhouses, root cellars and fallout shelters into an underground home. It covers both hillside and flat land design, and explains how to solve drainage problems with dependable gravity rather then expensive, failure-prone building materials. It also details ways to pass or otherwise deal with the building codes. The $50 & Up Underground House Book is the only book to explain in detail author Mike Oehler’s revolutionary Post/Shoring/Polyethylene building method, which cuts building materials to the absolute minimum. (See the video/DVD section for an illustration comparing P/S/P with the materials used in normal frame house construction.) But The $50 & Up Underground House Book does much more than just cut your building material costs by up to 90%. It is widely recognized as the book which offers the reader the greatest possibilities for light, air and views in an underground home. - Source

09/16/08 - Ethanol, biodiesel have tanks full of caveats
In the United States, 95 per cent of ethanol is derived from corn. Elsewhere, as in Brazil, ethanol is derived from sugar cane. Whatever the source, ethanol advertises a number of benefits, including reductions in petroleum usage, reductions in certain emissions and even lower gasoline prices. However, there are lots of caveats. According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, "Since ethanol has a somewhat lower energy content than gasoline per gallon, more fuel is required to travel the same distance." Plus, more water is required to produce ethanol than to produce gasoline. Not only is corn a water-intensive crop, but ethanol-production facilities consume huge amounts of water, something the city of Tampa learned when U.S. EnviroFuels announced plans to build a plant at the Port of Tampa. As The St. Petersburg Times reported in 2007, the company told Tampa officials it would need a whopping 400,000 gallons of water a day. According to The St. Petersburg Times analysis, by the end of this year the demand from new ethanol plants in the U.S. will require "a 254 per cent increase in the volume of water used by the industry over the previous decade." It's important to remember that ethanol cannot be transported via pipeline. Since transporting ethanol to the coasts by truck would undermine its energy-saving goals -- and building ethanol plants closer to the coasts could exacerbate water shortages -- ethanol doesn't seem to be an ideal answer for the thirsty and far-flung cities in the western U.S. Ethanol has been aided by subsidies dating back three decades and five presidents. Today, subsidies for biofuels are estimated as high as $7.3 billion per year. - Source

09/16/08 - Loot Theory: The Tale of the Donkey and the Carrot
KeelyNet Once upon there was a donkey. As we all know, donkeys love carrots. The donkey would travel from land to land looking for his favorite food. He spent years of his life seeking out the perfect carrot; that vegetable that would be the pinnacle of all vegetables. One day he encountered a carrot, but it was no ordinary carrot. Nay, this carrot floated, and it so happened to float right in front of the ambitious donkey. Yearning for a taste of what seemed like the ultimate carrot, the donkey lunged forward with mouth agape. To his surprise, each lunge, each step, each tiny inch that the donkey moved, the carrot moved farther away. Why would anyone keep chasing such an elusive carrot? This is essentially the analogy that scores of developers use when talking about what can only be called “loot theory.” Essentially a focused and more detailed look at one aspect of a player’s dialogue with a game, loot theory pertains mostly to rewards, and motivation. - Source

09/16/08 - Eating veggies shrinks the brain
Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage. Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin. The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87. - Source

09/14/08 - 100-mpg plug-in hybrids popping up in US
KeelyNet The Advanced Vehicle Research Center is converting Toyota Priuses into electric plug-in hybrids for a cost of $10,400. By retrofitting hybrids like the Toyota Prius with a second battery pack, they´re converting these cars into hybrid plug-ins that can recharge from a wall outlet and drive a short commute on all electric power. AVRC´s converted Priuses can get from anywhere between 60 and 100 mpg, depending on driving habits, which roughly doubles the gas mileage of a standard Prius. Advanced Energy, a Raleigh nonprofit research organization and one of AVRC´s customers, has even exceeded 200 mpg in a test under optimal conditions. The conversion process is relatively uncomplicated. The mechanics remove the spare tire in the trunk, and replace it with a 170-pound lithium ion battery pack, like a much larger version of a cell phone battery. A plug from the back of the bumper can be inserted into a conventional wall outlet, where a full charge lasts about 3.5 hours and costs less than 75 cents. The modified Prius draws from the new battery first, giving the car a range of about 35 miles on all-electric power, making gasoline optional on short commutes. When the ba ttery is depleted, the Prius runs like a standard hybrid, using its gas engine and regenerative braking to charge its nickel metal hydride battery. More info at http://www.avrc.com/ - Source

09/14/08 - Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World w/video
KeelyNet Inventor Shawn Frayne’s device, which he calls a Windbelt, is a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines. Frayne envisions the Windbelt costing a few dollars and replacing kerosene lamps in Haitian homes. “Kerosene is smoky and it’s a fire hazard,” says Peter Haas, founder of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which helps people in developing countries to get environmentally sound access to clean water, sanitation and energy. “If Shawn’s innovation breaks, locals can fix it. If a solar panel breaks, the family is out a panel.” In a conventional wind generator, gears help transfer the motion of the spinning blades to a turbine where an electric current is induced. The Windbelt is simpler and more efficient in light breezes—a magnet mounted on a vibrating membrane simply oscillates between wire coils. - Source

09/14/08 - Chubais Predicts Energy Crisis for Russia in 2010
Anatoly Chubais, former head of RAO UES of Russia, is predicting an energy crisis in Russia at the beginning of 2010 if the rate of gas production in the country stagnates. He talked about this at the unveiling of his book Economic Notes, co-authored with Egor Gaidar. There have been two cold winters in Russia out of the last seven, Chubais notes, and another one can be expected in 2010. Fuel oil reserves will be insufficient by that time, which could lead to a shortage of 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Electricity and heat can be generated, Chubais reasons, but technical limitations, such as the capacity of electricity generating stations and transportation complexities for fuel oil, hinder it. Chubais suggests that the energy crisis of 2010 may be “substantial” and require evacuations from a number of cities. - Source

09/14/08 - A Loss of Power Scenario for the USA
KeelyNet As a scenario planning tool, an attack (false flag or otherwise) on the power infrastructure of America because it could impair or cripple so much of life as we know it. Consider the list of things that would come with a failed grid even if for only a week: * Gas stations without a backup generator would not be able to pump gas. * Delivery systems for food and groceries would seize up. No power means no computers and that means no order processing in the warehouses of America. * Then there are the municipal water and sewage operations that depend on electrical power. Sure, there are backups, but how long would the SPR work before running dry? Besides, how's energy going to move around. * And then there's the litany of personal inconvenience: No ATM's, so without cash, no one would be able to buy anything. * And even with cash, you'd be S.O.L. because the cash registers and the back-end inventory systems would be shut down. Again, the case is made for buying a couple of three CAT options to run over the high risk months because a modern store sucks up tons of energy to run refrigeration and freezers, HVAC and lights, I mean besides the checkout counters, conveyer belts and what-have-yous. * And then there's the excuse to seize the internet that would come part and parcel. Everything but state-approved paradigm parrots would be banned (anti-America" and "potential terrorists!") and the final imposition of the intellectual lockdown would be complete. * Personal comfort disappears along the way. No hot water to shower, no coffee maker, no coffee - no coffee, no coffee, OMG nO COFFEE! Remind me to weld up a tripod for brewing over and open fire. * And even when the power comes back on, there's be the problem of restocking everything perishable in the foodchain which would have spoiled. - Source

09/14/08 - Anti-science Greenies keep Africa poor
Sir David King says that the Greenies' anti-science superstitions are causing unnecessary suffering in Africa. King blames "anti-poverty" campaigners, aid agencies and environmental activists for keeping modern farming techniques and bio-technology out of Africa. "The suffering within [Africa], I believe, is largely driven by attitudes developed in the West which are somewhat anti-science, anti-technology - attitudes that lead towards organic farming, for example, attitudes that lead against the use of genetic technology for crops that could deal with increased salinity in the water, that can deal with flooding for rice crops, that can deal with drought resistance," King told The Times today. King wonders why recent productivity revolutions in agriculture, which have been such a success in Asia and India, have not been implemented in Africa on the same scale. He concludes that the blame lies not with Africans, but with Western "do-gooders" who prefer Africans to remain picturesque and dirt poor. Whatever it is that motivates these self-styled "Greens", it isn't a concern for the environment. Nor, despite claims to the contrary, is there any valid concern of "over-population". The UN estimates global population growth to peak in the 2040s at 7.87bn, then decline, assuming modest development is permitted to continue. Not only does economic development mean fewer people, but it means less suffering: those fewer people are much happier. Clearly, we can easily generate enough food to feed everyone on the planet and we have the means to ensure there's less human suffering. Some people want that to happen - and some don't. - Source

09/14/08 - NASA mulls nuclear Moon reactor
KeelyNet America's space agency wants to outsource its lunar R&D operations some 384,403km above the Earth by 2020 – but it has no plans to be lighting torches and taking cold showers when it gets there. The goal is to spread civilization to the stars, after all. After all, the Moon is really just a warm-up to booking passage to more exotic locales such as Mars, where sunlight on the surface may not always be so accommodating. NASA engineers are exploring the possibility of nuclear fission as a choice for rugged planet-side colonization. The agency reckons a fission surface power system on the moon has the potential to generate a steady 40 kilowatts of electric power – enough for about eight houses on Earth. NASA's Glenn Center has already contracted two different types of power conversion units, which will hopefully be able to convert heat into electrical power efficiently. NASA is leaving the actual atom-splitting fiddling for a later date. The first design is by Sunpower Inc, of Athens Ohio. It's described as using two opposed piston engines coupled to alternators that produce 6 kilowatts each (for a total of 12 kilowatts). The second contract by Barber Nichols Inc., of Arvada Colorado, is developing a closed Brayton cycle engine that uses a high speed turbine and compressor coupled to a rotary alternator, that also generates 12 kilowatts of power. After one year, NASA will select one of the contractors to build a prototype power converter. The unit will be hooked to a heat rejection system being developed by Glenn at NASA – which will also be providing the space simulation facility. Meanwhile, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama is working on a non-nuclear reactor simulator that uses liquid metal coolant as the heat source for the demonstration. - Source

09/14/08 - Wind-Power Politics
KeelyNet Peter Mandelstam, a 47-year-old native New Yorker who is capable of quoting Central European poets and oddball meteorological factoids with ease, had long committed himself — and the tiny company he formed in 1999 — to building utility-scale wind-power plants offshore, a decision that, to many wind-industry observers, seemed to fly in the face of common sense. Offshore marine construction was wildly, painfully expensive — like standing in a cold shower and ripping up stacks of thousand-dollar bills. The very laws for permitting and siting such projects had yet to be enacted. Indeed, the recent past was littered with failed offshore wind projects. Never mind that there were so many more opportunities in the continental United States to build land-based wind farms, which cost half as much as offshore projects. Delaware’s coastal winds were capable of producing a year-round average output of over 5,200 megawatts, or four times the average electrical consumption of the entire state. Mandelstam had his eureka moment. The amount of power Dhanju was describing, Mandelstam knew from Kempton, was but a small fraction of an even larger resource along what’s known as the Mid-Atlantic Bight. This coastal region running from Massachusetts to North Carolina contained up to 330,000 megawatts of average electrical capacity. This was, in other words, an amount of guaranteed, bankable power that was larger, in terms of energy equivalence, than the entire mid-Atlantic coast’s total energy demand — not just for electricity but for heating, for gasoline, for diesel and for natural gas. Indeed the wind off the mid-Atlantic represented a full third of the Department of Energy’s estimate of the total American offshore resource of 900,000 megawatts. - Source

09/14/08 - Superconductivity can induce magnetism
When an electrical current passes through a wire it emanates heat – a principle that's found in toasters and incandescent light bulbs. Some materials, at low temperatures, violate this law and carry current without any heat loss. But this seemingly trivial property, superconductivity, is now at the forefront of our understanding of physics. In the experiment reported in Science, the scientists cooled a single crystal of CeCoIn5, a metal compound consisting of cerium, cobalt and indium, to a temperature of minus 273.1 degrees, close to absolute zero. To their great surprise, they discovered that magnetism and superconductivity coexist and disappear at the same time when they heat the sample or increase the magnetic field. This discovery is extraordinary, since magnetic order exists exclusively when this sample is in the superconducting state. In this unique case, magnetism and superconductivity do not compete with each other. Instead, superconductivity generates magnetic order. The research team also made a second discovery, which is detailed in the Science article – how electron pairs in the superconducting state in a strong magnetic field have a finite momentum. In all other known superconductors, the pairs form a state with zero momentum. Predicted by theorists a few decades ago, the observation of such a state in this experiment is the first experimental proof for such a new state of matter. These two results allow for the first time to directly address questions about the relationship between magnetism and superconductivity. - Source

09/14/08 - Scientists use Nanomagnets to clean up oil spills w/video link
KeelyNet Scientists have discovered another magnetic trick. By mixing unbelievably small magnets with oil, bigger magnets can be used to move the oily globs around. The trick isn’t just cool to watch. Some day, the technique could help clean up messy oil spills in the sea mistakenly dumped by ships. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh make teeny tiny magnets out of two metals: iron and cobalt. Unlike the palm-sized magnets you may have played with in school, these magnets are measured in nanometers. One nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter. That may be hard to picture, so think of this: A human hair is about 80,000 nanometers wide. To simulate an oil spill in the ocean, the CMU scientists plopped a few drops of mineral oil onto the surface of some water in a petri dish, a small container used in a lab. The scientists dyed the oil blue to make it stand out. Next, they mixed a bunch of tiny nanomagnets into another batch of oil, creating a black liquid. Using an eye dropper, the scientists added some of this syrupy black stuff to the petri dish. Almost immediately, the black syrup surrounded the blue oil in the center of the dish. Afterward, the researchers placed a strong magnet next to the dish. Right away, the nanomagnet-filled syrup floated toward the big magnet. More importantly, it brought the blue oil with it. One hope is that the technique might some day help clean up oil spills. Using vats of nanomagnets and large magnetic fences, workers might round up oil spills at sea and prevent them from harming the environment and killing animals. - Source

09/14/08 - Solar Roofing Materials
KeelyNet United Solar Ovonic of Auburn Hills, MI, has teamed with a major roofing company to create a metal roof system that generates electricity from sunlight. The partnership offers seven different prefabricated systems, ranging in capacity from 3 to 120 kilowatts. Tests show that the solar roof panels are rugged and can withstand winds in excess of 160 miles per hour. In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing than bulky rooftop-mounted panels, solar roofing materials can cut the cost of household solar installations by doing double duty, generating electricity while protecting buildings from the elements. Centria designs and assembles the solar roof systems using United Solar's adhesive thin films, which can simply be peeled off of their backings and stuck to the roofing materials. The company then distributes the final product through small metal-roofing manufacturers that do the installations for building owners and architects. EnergyPeak comes with a 20-year warranty and, depending on the state in which the solar roof is installed, could pay for itself in less than 10 years, Centria says. - Source

09/14/08 - Sheikh Mohammed’s Plan to Cure One Million Blind People
Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed launched a new Ramadan initiative, under the name “Noor Dubai”, aiming to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in achieving their goals outlined in “VISION 2020: the Right to Sight”. Noor Dubai will treat one million people suffering from curable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries. - Source

09/14/08 - New Chemical to fight Oil Contamination
KeelyNet The new chemical was called Degroil. The substance has a very complicated chemical structure containing aminoacids, simple and composite sugars, protein and composite enzymes. Degroil is absolutely harmless to animals and humans, specialists say. It is also very easy to handle: oil stains disappear immediately once they are treated with the chemical. The new agent allows to considerably decrease the oil contamination of the ground within several weeks. Degroil may appear on the market next year and will be offered to large oil companies first and foremost. - Source

09/14/08 - First Step Towards a Driverless Bus System
KeelyNet A special bus introduced on Sept. 5th, steered not by a driver, but by a magnetic guidance system developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, performed with remarkable precision. The 60-foot research bus was demonstrated along a one-mile stretch of E. 14th Street in San Leandro that was embedded with a series of magnets. Special sensors and processors on board the bus detected the magnets in the pavement and controlled the steering based upon the information it received. The driver maintained control of braking and acceleration, but the steering was completely automated, allowing the bus to pull into stops to within a lateral accuracy of 1 centimeter, or about the width of an adult pinky finger. Researchers say such precision docking would help shave precious seconds off of the time to load and unload passengers at each stop, adding up to a significant increase in reliability and efficiency over the course of an entire bus route. For example, precision docking could potentially negate the need to deploy wheelchair ramps and make passenger queuing more efficient. Moreover, the ability to more precisely control the movement of the bus reduces the width of the lane required for travel from 12 feet - the current standard - to 10 feet, researchers say. In the system demonstrated today, sensors mounted under the bus measured the magnetic fields created from the roadway magnets, which were placed beneath the pavement surface 1 meter apart along the center of the lane. The information was translated into the bus’s lateral and longitudinal position by an on-board computer, which then directed the vehicle to move accordingly. For a vehicle traveling 60 miles per hour, data from 27 meters (88 feet) of roadway can be read and processed in 1 second. Zhang added that the system is robust enough to withstand a wide range of operating conditions, including rain or snow, a significant improvement to other vehicle guidance systems based upon optics. Researchers also pointed out that magnetic guidance technology allows for a bus to safely follow closely behind another. Extra vehicles, much like extra cars on light rail trains, could thus be added during peak commute times. In the E. 14th Street demonstration, the magnetic guidance system was only used to control the steering for the bus, but on test tracks it has been used for full vehicle control - including braking and accelerating - creating a true “auto-pilot” system for the bus. At any time, the driver can resume manual control of the bus. - Source

09/14/08 - Nanonets Snare Energy
KeelyNet A cheap new nanostructured material could prove an efficient catalyst for performing this reaction. Called a nanonet because of its two-dimensional branching structure, the material is made up of a compound that has been demonstrated to enable the water-splitting reaction. Because of its high surface area, the nanonet enhances this reaction. Researchers led by Dunwei Wang, a chemist at Boston College, grew the nanonets, creating structures made up of branching wires of titanium and silicon. Last year, researchers at the Max Planck Institute, in Germany, showed that titanium disilicide, which absorbs a broad spectrum of visible light, splits water into hydrogen and oxygen--and can store the hydrogen, which it absorbs or releases depending on the temperature. Other semiconducting materials have been tested as water-splitting catalysts but have proved unstable. The nanonets, made up of flexible wires about 15 nanometers thick, grow spontaneously from titanium and silicon flowing through a reaction chamber at high temperatures. In a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie, Wang's group describes the synthesis of nanonets. The material is 10 times more electrically conductive than its bulk form. Conductivity is an important property for water-splitting catalysts. Wang says that he has tested the nanonets' water-splitting properties, although this work has not yet been published. In preliminary tests, the nanostructured version of the material performs about 100 times better than bulk titanium disilicide. - Source

09/14/08 - Solar Updraft Towers To Be Deployed In Namibia
KeelyNet In a future with no need for fossil fuels and with the need of renewable energies, solar power seems to be the best option available on the market. In order to be efficient and cost-effective, the sun has to shine all day long and the perfect place for that is the African continent. The latest project consists of solar updraft towers which will be built in Namibia and each tower could generate about 400 megawatts of power. The gigantic solar towers were only “proposed” by Hahn & Hahn and each will be 1.5km tall and 280m wide, and the towers will be welcomed in Africa as at the base of them, people could grow crops. The base will measure about 37-square km and it will work as a greenhouse. In Namibia the sun shines more than 300 days per year, the solar towers seem to be a great solution. The towers will produce energy by sending the heated air from the greenhouse through wind turbines which will also generate electricity. Being shaped like a chimney, funneling the heated air via the wind turbines will not be a problem as the hot air tends to rise. - Source

09/14/08 - The Perilous Price of Oil
In January 2007, the price of oil was less than $60 per barrel. By the spring of 2008, the price had crossed $100 for the first time, and by mid-July, it rose further to a record $147. At the end of August it remains over $115, a 90 percent increase in just eighteen months. The price of gasoline at the pump has risen commensurately from an average of $2.50 to around $4 a gallon during this period. Transportation and manufacturing costs have risen sharply as well. All this has occurred at the same time as a world credit crisis that started with the collapse of the US housing bubble. The rising cost of oil, coming on top of the credit crisis, has slowed the world economy and reinforced the prospect of a recession in the US. The public is asking for an answer to two questions. The principal question is whether the sharp oil price increase is a speculative bubble or simply reflects fundamental factors such as rapidly rising demand from developing nations and an increasingly limited supply, caused by the dwindling availability of easily extractable oil reserves. The second question is related to the first. If the oil price increase is at least partly a result of speculation, what kind of regulation will best mitigate the harmful consequences of this increase and avoid excessive price fluctuations in the future? - Source

09/14/08 - Naked-Eye Gamma-ray Burst Aimed Directly at Earth
KeelyNet Astronomers announced today that a remarkable gamma-ray burst visible to the human eye earlier this year came from an explosive stellar jet aimed almost directly at Earth. NASA's Swift satellite detected the explosion - formally named GRB 080319B - at 2:13 a.m. EDT on March 19, 2008, and pinpointed its position in the constellation Bootes. The gamma-ray burst became bright enough to see even without a telescope. Observations of the event by a global array of satellites and ground-based observatories have since given scientists the most detailed portrait of a burst ever recorded. Immediately after the blast, Swift's UltraViolet and Optical Telescope and X-Ray Telescope indicated they were effectively blinded. Racusin initially thought something was wrong with the telescopes. Within minutes, however, as reports from other observers arrived, it was clear this was a special event. The team believes the jet directed toward Earth contained an ultra-fast component just 0.4 of a degree across. This core resided within a slightly less energetic jet about 20 times wider. Such an alignment occurs by chance only about once a decade, so GRB 080319B was a rare catch indeed. - Source

09/14/08 - Research Finds Carbon Dating Flawed
"New research funded by the National Science Foundation at the University of Miami is showing that carbon dating (the 13C/12C ratio used to infer age) in the ocean can only be trusted up to 150 million years ago. From the primary researcher, 'This study is a major step in terms of rethinking how geologists interpret variations in the 13C/12C ratio throughout Earth's history. If the approach does not work over the past 10 million years, then why would it work during older time periods? As a consequence of our findings, changes in 13C/12C records need to be reevaluated, conclusions regarding changes in the reservoirs of carbon will have to be reassessed, and some of the widely-held ideas regarding the elevation of CO2 during specific periods of the Earth's geological history will have to be adjusted.' While this research doesn't necessarily throw carbon dating out the window, it should cause people to rethink so many theories about early life that revolved around ages of sediment in the oceans." - Source

09/14/08 - Teachers should tackle creationism, says science education expert
KeelyNet Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society agreed that creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories, but he said that did not automatically exclude them from science lessons. "Just because something lacks scientific support doesn't seem to me a sufficient reason to omit it from the science lesson … there is much to be said for allowing students to raise any doubts they have – hardly a revolutionary idea in science teaching – and doing one's best to have a genuine discussion." / Science - 1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding. 2 a: a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study b: something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge . 3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science. - Source

09/14/08 - UA researchers making gas from algae
Take a step into Joel Cuello's lab at the UA Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and you'll see pond scum growing in test tubes. Right now corn and soybeans are used to make alternatives to gasoline, but Cuello doesn't believe those are cost effective. He explains, "They are food crops. And so using them for fuel helps increase the price of food." Cuello says it's already been proven oils in algae can be converted into fuel. The problem is how to grow enough of it. That's what he and UA graduate students are trying to figure out. In their lab, beakers of algae are exposed to different environmental conditions. Cuello explains, "We want the algae to grow really fast. And so we want to optimize the light level, we want to optimize the carbon dioxide that it needs." Algae could use carbon dioxide emitted from power plants to help it grow. These researchers estimate it'll take about five years before algae gas is ready to pump into your gas tank. - Source

09/14/08 - Experiment Boosts Hopes for Space Solar Power
KeelyNet A former NASA scientist has used radio waves to transmit solar power a distance of 92 miles (148 km) between two Hawaiian islands, an achievement that he says proves the technology exists to beam solar power from satellites back to Earth. John C. Mankins demonstrated the solar power transmission for the Discovery Channel, which paid for the four month experiment and will broadcast the results Friday at 9 p.m. EDT. His vision is to transmit solar power collected by orbiting satellites as large as 1,102 pounds (500 kg) to lake-sized receiver stations on Earth. The experiment cost about $1 million, and Mankins said larger arrays could be constructed with more money. Each of the nine solar panels used was built to transmit about 20 watts of power, but the transmission was scaled back to two watts per panel in order to obtain U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval for the test. Despite the miniscule reception on the receiving end, Mankins said the ground-based test proved it is possible to transmit solar power through the atmosphere. - Source

09/14/08 - Zero Energy Homes: Solar Electricity Earns Credits
Homebuilder Bernie Schmidt explains the Zero Energy home that lets you send solar electricity you make to ComEd for credit on your bill. "If you have extra power, you don't need batteries in this system, you send it back to Commonwealth Edison on their reverse meter system, and they give you credit for it," Schmidt said. "Then when you get home and decide to use your power, and the sun is not shining, you get to use your credits back." With typical usage, the costs and credits should zero out, and that's where the Zero Energy name comes from. On the electric meter, if the arrow on the meter points left, you're sending power to ComEd. If it points to the right, you're buying it. Schmidt's solar home's sunny disposition is green in other ways, too. The thick walls are filled with solid Styrofoam that insulates to an incredible R-40. Special faucets and toilets save water. Recycled materials are used for everything from the kitchen counters, tile floors, carpeting, even the front porch. The wood floors are made from fast growing bamboo with a non-toxic finish, and the cabinets are made with wheat straw. With a Zero Energy Home, you only earn credits and never make a cash profit from your energy savings, but zeroing out your electric bill sounds pretty attractive. To learn more about Zero Energy Homes, visit http://www.solarverde.com/ - Source

09/11/08 - Local invention makes diesel even more efficient
KeelyNet A DUNGOG invention that makes diesel vehicles more fuel-efficient, increases engine power and reduces pollution has the local garage living up to its 50-year-old moniker, Modern Motors. Its success has ignited international interest and stunned the blokes behind the unit, mechanic Derek Watkins, his computer-savvy brother Bruce, and Modern Motors boss Murray Rumbel. The $4700 unit, called Sequent Systems, reduces diesel consumption by up to 20 per cent, increases engine power by as much as 30 per cent, eliminates nitrous oxide pollution by up to 50 per cent, cuts carbon dioxide pollution by 25 per cent and reduces soot in the engine oil which extends engine life. The system is different from constant-flow gas/diesel systems as it injects liquid petroleum gas vapour into the motor's air intake in line with engine speed and load, while its computer monitors operations and alters the mix when necessary. The men developed the system over eight months and offered the first units for sale 12 months ago. They have since sold 450. HOW IT WORKS - Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is stored in a tank separate to the vehicle's diesel tank - Gas vapours are mixed with air to assist the vehicle's motor, which runs continually on diesel - A computer regulates the LPG flow into a converter that changes it from liquid to a vapour - The computer regulates pressure so a constant vapour is injected into the motor's air intake - The amount of vapour increases as the vehicle's speed and load increase - The computer monitors the vapour level 10 times every second and adjusts the mix as necessary. - Source

09/11/08 - Top 10 Amazing Physics Videos
Tesla coils, superconductors, and hilarious music videos are great reasons to be excited about physics. Here are some of our favorites. - Source

09/11/08 - Engineer fights charges over invention scam
KeelyNet A GOLD Coast businessman raised more than $1 million from investors for a magnet-powered engine that would never work, a court has been told. Sovereign Island-based Micheal Nugent is fighting charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that he engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. Mr Nugent, an engineer, says his invention will work and that fundraising was not deceptive. ASIC says Mr Nugent, a director of Cycclone Magnetic Engines Inc. based at Gaven and Lismore, failed to disclose documents as required under the Corporations Act, and acted deceptively when raising more than $1million from shareholders. The company said it was developing an engine that used permanent magnets to supply power, without the need for external fuel. ASIC has also named two other directors, Robert McClelland and Steven Foster in the action, even though they were only directors for a few weeks of the fundraising period. ASIC also wants to wind up the company, alleging little of the money raised has gone to developing the engine. The Supreme Court in Brisbane was told ASIC had paid an expert, who looked at parts of the engine and a video of it on the company website, and determined it was not viable. - Source. Here is a Japanese page with Videos of this magnetic engine.

09/11/08 - How to build lunar homes from moon dirt
KeelyNet "Bulldozers and excavation systems are pretty bulky and heavy," said Kris Zacny, director of drilling and excavation systems at Honeybee Robotics in New York City. "We came out with a different method of digging that uses gas." Zacny's invention digs up ground by injecting gas into the dirt, thereby creating a high-pressure situation from which the gas naturally wants to escape. When it does fly upward, the gas' strong momentum ends up taking dirt up with it. In detail, this so-called pneumatic excavation mechanism involves gas pumped into the ground through a thin tube encased by a wider hose. When the gas escapes, carrying along material from the ground, it travels up through the hose to a storage container. "It's kind of like a vacuum cleaner, but the reverse," Zacny said. Instead of using suction, the machine injects gas down to draw material up. The contraption weighs a lot less than conventional digging tools, though it begs the question: Where will future moon-dwellers get the gas needed to operate the machine? One good source could be the carbon dioxide breathed out every day by astronauts, he said. Another option is to burn any leftover fuel in the rocket thrusters on the moon landing vehicle, and collect the exhaust. "When a spacecraft lands on the moon, it has a little extra fuel left over, just in case you have to fly longer than you planned," Zacny said. "Once you land it's a deadweight." But burning this fuel to create gas is great way to power the pneumatic excavator, he said. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Once the device has sucked up lunar dirt, or regolith, this material could be conveniently diverted and used as a protective covering over homes (regolith is good for shielding from radiation). The dirt could also be processed to extract the oxygen bound up in its minerals. In order to free up the oxygen trapped inside, regolith must be heated to high temperatures. The engineers propose passing the material through a heat exchanger after it is extracted. Or, if the source of gas for the excavator is from leftover rocket fuel, then the exhaust will already be hot, and as it passes into the regolith it can heat the dirt up. "Something that we'll have to consider is radiation," Zacny said. "We can close ourselves in habitats, but radiation protection requires a lot of shielding. We cannot solve this problem yet. Radiation can kill us." Moon dwellers will also have to contend with the ubiquitous dust on the surface of the moon, which gets into everything and can wear down joints and connectors and prevent sealing off doors. It also poses a health risk to people, as it can cause breathing problems and is difficult to filter out of habitats. - Source

09/11/08 - Self Healing Wire
The healing abilities of living organisms allow them to repair and maintain themselves so they might function at full potential. What if this type of technology could be implemented into a faulty part of a machine - University of Dayton Research Institute chemist Bob Kauffman happened upon a way to do just that. Kauffman's inspiration for a solution came, as many great ideas do, by accident. "I was conducting experiments in the lab to recreate the scenario that most likely caused the TWA fuel tank explosion, and a baseball game was playing on a radio in the background," Kauffman said. "Every time I put a drop of water on live copper wires, the game went away. It just went to static. I realized that wet copper wires give off a radio frequency just before shorting out." The wires were emitting a radio frequency just as they shorted out, this phenomenon led to the realization that a fairly simple listening device could be made to find such malfunctioning wires. This innovation allowed Kauffman to come up with his revolutionary idea, Power-Activated Technology for Coating and Healing or PATCH, for short. The formula draws upon the same elements that make these frayed wires dangerous and instead, keeps them safe. The product comes in two forms, liquid and solid, and is inexpensive and nontoxic. The liquid can be sprayed on bundles of wires that may have been damaged over time. "If it comes into contact with any live wire with damaged insulation, the electrical current will transform the spray into an insoluble polymer coating," Kauffman said. "Any solution not coming into contact with exposed wire will wash away, preventing weight build-up from repair activity." The solid form can be put on newly manufactured wires to prevent future damage. - Source

09/11/08 - Squiggle ultrasonic hula hoop micromotor
KeelyNet The SQUIGGLE motor is a revolutionary linear micro motor that sets new benchmarks for small size and big performance. This patented ultrasonic motor creates high force and speed with only a few parts. It replaces complex electromagnetic gearhead motors which have hundreds of parts. Piezo actuators change shape when electrically excited. A SQUIGGLE motor consists of several piezoelectric ceramic actuators attached to a threaded nut, with a mating threaded screw inside. Applying power to the actuators creates ultrasonic vibrations, causing the nut to vibrate in an orbit - similar to a person’s hips in a “Hula Hoop.” The rotating nut turns the threaded screw, creating a smooth in-and-out linear motion. Thread friction drives the shaft, directly converting rotary motion to linear motion. - Source

09/11/08 - Agro-veillance: Using satelites and drones for precision crop maintenence
KeelyNet The landscape architecture blog Pruned has a fascinating overview of using unmanned drones and satellites to produce maps which reveal terrific amounts of data for analyzing the relative health of crops. Being able to detect the relative difference in biomass in an orchard would allow the high-tech farmer to pinpoint water, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides to only the trees that need them, rather than flooding and dusting the entire orchard. Once you are able to determine the relative health of each tree in the orchard, it is a natural leap to imagine a grid of capillary tubing delivering the precise amounts of nutrients and water required to maintain each tree at peak production. - Source

09/11/08 - Kammen: U.S. energy R&D investment lags
Scientist calls for boost in U.S. government spending for energy research from $4 billion to $15 billion to help stimulate innovation. “The urgency for energy R&D funding is high,” Daniel Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at University of California at Berkeley, told the Cleantech Group. “The R&D investment is still too low at $4 billion. We actually need $15 billion to $30 billion. And hitting the $15 billion per year budget objective is a natural and achievable interim target." More than 30 years ago, the energy R&D budget was boosted by a factor of three in response to the OPEC oil embargo between 1975 and 1979, Kammen told the House committee. But this increase was not sustained. “In fact, the increase and then decrease in the budget was particularly wasteful because a number of potentially important programs were initiated, then canceled, leaving talented individuals and innovative companies greatly disillusioned and distrustful of federal efforts in the energy area,” Kammen said. “Innovation is the life-blood of economic growth and renewal,” Kammen said. “In fact, it has been known for decades that the bulk of new economic growth results from the re-invention and invention of new scientific and technological opportunities." - Source

09/11/08 - VW Golf BlueMotion concept car delivers 74mpg
KeelyNet Volkswagen has taken the wraps off a Golf BlueMotion concept car capable of a combined 74.3 mpg while emitting just 99 g/km of CO2. The concept is powered by a highly-efficient and refined 1.6-litre TDI common rail diesel engine developing 105 PS and 184 lbs ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. Despite the focus on economy the Golf BlueMotion concept can reach 62 mph from rest in a respectable 11.3 seconds before going on to a top speed of 117 mph. - Source

09/11/08 - Stress linked to physical illness and premature aging
Stress is a function of our primal origins. When the body is under stress, it boosts production of cortisol to support the 'fight or flight' response we all have at the heart of our operating system. If the hormone remains elevated in the bloodstream for long periods of time, though, it wears down the immune system. Every cell contains a tiny clock called a telomere, which shortens each time the cell divides. Short telomeres are linked to a range of human diseases, including HIV, osteoporosis, heart disease and aging. Previous studies have shown that an enzyme within the cell, called telomerase, keeps immune cells young by preserving their telomere length and ability to continue dividing. UCLA scientists have found that the stress hormone cortisol suppresses immune cells' ability to activate their telomerase. This may explain why the cells of persons under chronic stress have shorter telomeres. - Source

09/11/08 - Specific brainwave patterns occur prior to a “Eureka Moment”
KeelyNet Eureka, (Greek for "I have found it") is an exclamation used as an interjection to proclaim an epiphanic discovery. Real-world problems come in two broad types: those requiring sequential reasoning and those requiring transformative reasoning: a break from past thinking followed by an insight. It is this moment, where a problem solver makes a quantum leap of understanding with no conscious forewarning, that we term the “Eureka moment.” A new university study in which brainwaves of humans were measured as they attempted to solve puzzles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle that call for intuitive strategies and novel insight has found an array of specific brainwave patterns occur several (up to 8) seconds before the participant is consciously aware of an insight. By measuring brainwaves of human participants as they attempted to solve puzzles or brainteasers that call for intuitive strategies and novel insight. They detected an array of specific patterns in characteristic brainwaves which occurred several (up to 8) seconds before the participant was consciously aware of an insight. Right hemisphere was further found to be critically involved in transformative reasoning. These results indicate that insight is a distinct spectral, spatial, and temporal pattern of unconscious neural activity corresponding to pre-solution cognitive processes, and not to one’s self-assessment of their insight or the emotional “Aha!” that accompanies problem solution. - Source

09/11/08 - $100 billion could yield 2 million "green" jobs
"From the point of view of the steelworkers union, the view is quite simple, that a energy efficient green economy creates jobs and it can create jobs in America," said Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. He said the U.S. move toward wind power has already prompted the reopening of two struggling steel mills, now making steel plate for use in new windmills. Beyond that, the retrofitting of old, energy-inefficient buildings would create jobs for steelworkers, glassmakers and those who manufacture heating and cooling systems, Gerard said in a telephone briefing. John Podesta, president of the think tank and a former Clinton administration official, said $50 billion of the investment would be tax credits to help private businesses and homeowners pay to make their buildings more energy efficient; $46 billion would be in the form of direct government spending on retrofitting buildings, expanding mass transit and freight rail, making "smart" electrical grids and new investment in renewable energy; and $4 billion in federal loan guarantees. To put the amount in perspective, Podesta said the April 2008 stimulus program cost $168 billion. Many of the new jobs would be in construction, where some 800,000 jobs have been lost in the last two years, according to Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. - Source

09/11/08 - Micro-inverters Improve Performance of Solar Systems
Inverters perform two key functions — converting the DC power from the solar modules into grid quality AC power and performing Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) on the solar array. MPPT is the algorithm that extracts the maximum amount of power from the solar array. Traditional centralized inverters manage all the solar modules in an array as an aggregate — a single source of energy. But there are limitations in using a single MPPT for multiple solar modules. Non-uniform changes in temperature, irradiance and shading create complex heterogeneous current-voltage curves, making it difficult for an MPPT algorithm to operate efficiently. This can result in the conversion of less than the maximum power available from the solar modules. An associated issue is that a traditional inverter represents a single point of failure in the solar system. A final limitation of traditional inverters includes noise pollution, space constraints and aesthetic issues. The larger the solar power system, the larger the inverter that is required, sometimes requiring a separate facility that must be constructed, powered, cooled and maintained. The idea of a micro-inverter has existed for many years — using multiple small inverters instead of a large, centralized inverter to distribute the power conversion of a solar installation. Micro-inverter technology offers significant technological advances. The first is per-module MPPT, which ensures energy harvest is maximized. With traditional inverters, the performance of the entire array is degraded if one or more modules becomes dusty, covered in debris or shaded. Micro-inverters enable each module to perform independently within the solar array. This benefits the system owner by maximizing energy harvest since degraded performance from one solar module will not prevent the rest of the modules from producing their maximum energy. The per-module micro-inverter also eliminates the problem of reduced energy harvest due to module mismatch. Tests have shown an increase in energy harvest in the order of 5 to 25%. - Source

09/11/08 - Self Surveillance
KeelyNet The simple pedometer has been given a makeover. Fitbit, a startup based in San Francisco, has built a small, unobtrusive sensor that tracks a person's movement 24 hours a day to produce a record of steps taken, calories burned, and even the quality of sleep. Data is wirelessly uploaded to the Web so that users can monitor their activity and compare it with that of their friends. James Park, cofounder of Fitbit, says that one of the main goals was to make the sensor so small that it will go unnoticed no matter what a person is wearing. The device can be put in a pocket, attached discretely to a bra, or slipped into a special wristband during sleep. It is meant to be worn 24-7, and each device can run for 10 days on a single battery charge. At night, the sensor fits into a wristband, and its accelerometer tracks tiny tremors in the wrist that correlate to different stages of sleep. When sleep-related data is uploaded to the Web, it is used to create a graph showing the amount and quality of sleep achieved each night. Park says that Fitbit isn't meant to replace a sports pedometer; rather, it's meant to give people a better sense of their daily activity and act as a dieting aid. The sensor will be available by December or January, Park says, and will retail for $99; use of the Fitbit website will be free. - Source

09/11/08 - Rediscovering Water and Hydro Power
Hydropower generation has tripled since 1949, when it produced a third of the country's electricity - yet today it meets just 7 percent of demand. In the rush to keep up with ravenous consumption, legions of small, distributed resources have been overlooked. A Department of Energy study found 130,000 sites that could provide small-scale hydropower, some in every state. Many have the potential to produce 1 megawatt of electricity or less. That's couch-cushion change in a world of behemoth energy projects, but it adds up - to an average of 30,000 megawatts a year. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates that 2700 megawatts could be developed by 2025. That equals the power produced by three nuclear power plants or six coal-fired ones. Building these small hydropower systems keeps money in the local economy, says Lori Barg, founder of the Vermont-based consulting firm Community Hydro. And because they produce power where it's being consumed, they both deliver electricity more efficiently and help stabilize the grid. - Source

09/11/08 - 'Omnivorous engine' hopes to run on many fuels
The 'omnivorous engine' is no picky eater. Gasoline? Down the hatch. Ethanol? Butanol? It'll slurp those up too. The creators of the omnivorous engine, engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, seek to fashion an engine that can run on just about any type of spark-ignited fuel. Unlike regular automobile engines, which typically run solely on gasoline or, in rare instances, on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, the omnivorous engine would be able to run on any blend of conventional gasoline, ethanol or butanol, another organic alcohol that scientists are beginning to consider as a potential biofuel. Even more significantly, the omnivorous engine would use a suite of sensors to calibrate itself so that it burns available fuel as efficiently as possible. Since both gasoline and ethanol engines rely on a spark plug to ignite the air-fuel mixture, it doesn't take a lot of effort to equip an engine to burn both kinds of fuel, according to mechanical engineer Thomas Wallner of Argonne's Energy Systems Division. According to Wallner, all single-fuel and most flex-fuel engines are typically calibrated to run on a single, usually all-gasoline, fuel source. To calibrate an engine, engineers and auto manufacturers typically tune the engine for several variables, including the amount of fuel injected into the engine per cycle, the time at which the fuel is injected and the timing of the igniting spark. Each of these parameters will have different optimum values for different fuel blends, Wallner said. Without an omnivorous engine, cars cannot adapt themselves independently to other fuel concentrations and therefore cannot maximize fuel economy. - Source

09/11/08 - Oddity or Hoax? - Happy 63rd birthday to Mike the Headless Chicken
KeelyNet On September 10, Mr. Olsen selected several chickens for the chopping block. As usual after decapitation, each chicken scrambled and scratched for a moment by reflex. One rooster, however, kept running around the yard, as if it hadn’t realized its head was sitting on the ground. The next morning, the headless chicken was still proudly strutting around as if nothing had happened. Surprised and curious, the Olsens began feeding it, dripping a gruel of crushed grain and water down its throat, to see how long it could survive. And the rooster thrived—as much as it could without a head—climbing onto perches, making gurgling noises in an attempt to crow, and futilely attempting to preen its feathers with its phantom head. Because of his condition, Mike needed to have his throat cleared regularly with a syringe to prevent him from choking on his own mucus. But one fateful night, in a Phoenix, Arizona, hotel room, the sound of Miracle Mike’s frantic rasping awakened the Olsens. The couple suddenly realized that they had left Mike’s syringe back at the carnival, and they watched helplessly as the poor animal breathed his last breath, 18 months after having his head chopped off. / (IF this isn't a hoax, what does it say about the brain being the only controlling organism to keep the body running and alive? - JWD) - Source

09/11/08 - Bountiful Harvest - Make your own Groceries
One of the best ways to save money is to make your own groceries. Chances are, if you look in your own cupboards or pantry right now you have a few factory canned items such as tomatoes, jams or jellies and canned fruit. Not only are these items heavily laden with salt and sugar, they are so over processed they no longer have decent flavor. Here are several of my favorite home canning recipes, step by step, with photographs. - Source

09/11/08 - A $75 trillion fright fest
Eight megahorror debts chilling America - America's out of control, drowning in debt, gorging: $75 trillion and getting worse. Now we're dumping Fannie and Freddie on America's balance sheet. Every year we pile trillions more on future generations. Can't trust McCain? Obama? Time for new leadership! The best qualified for president is the same great American hero we picked as our favorite write-in candidate for the 2006 elections: David Walker, former comptroller general, chief auditor of the U.S. Government Accounting Office for a decade before resigning last spring. He is ready. Walker was the "voice of reason" in Washington while Congress and the White House kept wasting trillions like out-of-control drunks, digging America deeper into debt. Nobody listened. Politicians ignored Walker's warnings, making matters worse as we went from a surplus of $5 trillion in 2000 to crushing debt that's now $9.6 trillion. Washington tuned out, so Walker went on the road, on the "campaign trail" so to speak, taking his fiscal-conservative message directly to the people in town-hall meetings with his "Fiscal Wake-up Tours," where he spoke of a "fiscal cancer," comparing America to Rome. Now his message is a new film: "I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt." Unfortunately, the film's not a major Hollywood studio release. Why? Even with co-stars like Warren Buffett and a "Saturday Night Live" skit with Steve Martin, it'll bomb at the box office, go to video fast. The 16 reviews I read will scare people away, not draw them in. - Source

09/11/08 - A President, NOT a Savior
KeelyNet In a famous 1979 television interview, Democratic presidential contender Ted Kennedy flubbed a softball question: "Why do you want to be president?" Mr. Kennedy's sputtering answer did real damage to his campaign. At the recent Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, Senators Obama and McCain gave more coherent answers when Pastor Rick Warren asked the same question. But in an America with a saner perspective on the presidency, their answers would have been disqualifying as well. What moved Barack Obama to seek the presidency was "the basic idea of empathy" and the notion that if "we see somebody down and out ... we care for them." Republican John McCain explained that he was running "to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest." Noble sentiments, to be sure, but in the original constitutional scheme, the president was neither Empath-in-Chief nor a national life coach. His role was to faithfully execute the laws, defend the country from attack, and check Congress with the veto power whenever it exceeded its constitutional bounds. - Source

09/11/08 - Stolen Phone? Don't get mad, get even
Maverick Secure Mobile has a new product that will make life miserable for the crook. When the bad guy tries to use your phone or changes the SIM (Subscriber Identify Module) card, there are a number of steps you can take to pester him. You can disable the stolen phone remotely, track the phone's use and retrieve your data. How? When you install the Maverick Mobile application, you provide the phone number of a second device (called a "receiving device") on which to receive any information from the stolen phone. When you remotely retrieve your address book contacts or other data, it goes to the receiving device via SMS or text message. Now here's where it gets even more interesting. If you call the stolen phone with the "receiving device" it turns on a speaker and microphone on the stolen phone remotely so you can spy on any calls being made. (The thief usually cannot detect this.) And this may be the best part: you can remotely send a piercing alarm to the stolen phone that the crook can only turn off by removing battery. The alarm goes back on when he puts the battery back in. - Source

09/11/08 - Motorcycle brake mod claims to stop slides before they happen
KeelyNet If there's one thing motorcyclists fear above all else, it's losing the front end under braking. TCB Brake Systems is a small aftermarket supply business based around a single product - a US$90 replacement banjo bolt that slots straight into the brake systems of just about any motorcycle motorcycle in about 10 minutes. Each bolt contains a hollowed-out oversized head, which is sealed off from the hydraulic brake system by a strong and slightly flexible membrane. The theory goes that under high-pressure braking, such as in an emergency stop, brake pads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_pad tend to start to lock a wheel up when they grab onto tiny surface irregularities on the disc, sending pressure spikes through the hydraulic system. The TCB bolt's hollow head contains about a cubic centimetre of air - which is compressible, where brake fluid is not - and the membrane, while not susceptible to flexing under normal braking pressures, has a little give in it at the outside edge of brake pressure, so that when those disc irregularities start sending pressure waves up through the brake system, there's something flexible in the system that's able to even them out. So, according to TCB inventor Mark Lipski, the unit should prevent many front wheel lock-ups before they even start. - Source

09/11/08 - Light Stimulated Nanotech Paints for hospitals could kill superbugs
The new paints contain tiny particles of titanium dioxide, which is the dazzling white compound often used as a brightener in commercial paints. It will also be familiar to tennis fans as the powder used for the white lines to mark out the courts at Wimbledon. Scientists have discovered that extremely small, nanoparticle-sized forms of titanium dioxide can kill bacteria and destroy dirt when they absorb ultraviolet light (UV) energy from the sun. They produce active molecules which clean up the painted surfaces. "It would be best if the titanium was antibacterial at wavelengths of light that you find indoors, such as fluorescent light, so that paints containing the nanoparticles could be used in hospitals and other places where a clean environment is important," said Lucia Caballero from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. The researchers looked at the survival of the food poisoning bacterium Escherichia coli on different formulations of paints containing the titanium nanoparticles under different types and intensities of lights. "We found that paints containing titanium dioxide are more successful at killing bacteria if the concentration of the nanoparticles is stronger than in normal paint. Our best results showed that all the E. coli were killed under ordinary fluorescent lights," said Lucia Caballero. - Source

09/09/08 - The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have
KeelyNet Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic gets an astonishing 65 mpg, but the carmaker can't afford to sell it in the U.S. Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel. Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. "Americans see hybrids as the darling," says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, "and diesel as old-tech." First of all, the engines are built in Britain, so labor costs are high. Plus the pound remains stronger than the greenback. At prevailing exchange rates, the Fiesta ECOnetic would sell for about $25,700 in the U.S. By contrast, the Prius typically goes for about $24,000. A $1,300 tax deduction available to buyers of new diesel cars could bring the price of the Fiesta to around $24,400. But Ford doesn't believe it could charge enough to make money on an imported ECOnetic. Ford plans to make a gas-powered version of the Fiesta in Mexico for the U.S. So why not manufacture diesel engines there, too? Building a plant would cost at least $350 million at a time when Ford has been burning through more than $1 billion a month in cash reserves. Besides, the automaker would have to produce at least 350,000 engines a year to make such a venture profitable. "We just don't think North and South America would buy that many diesel cars," says Fields. - Source

09/09/08 - Auto industry to press Congress for $50B in loans
KeelyNet Auto industry allies hope to secure up to $50 billion in government loans this month that would pay to modernize plants and help struggling car makers build more fuel-efficient vehicles. Lawmakers authorized $25 billion in loans in last year's energy bill to help the companies build fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrids and electric vehicles. With credit tight, automakers and suppliers now want lawmakers to come up with the money for the program — and expand the pool of money available to $50 billion over three years. Industry leaders have argued that the loan guarantees are not a government bailout because it would hasten production of fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce dependence on imported oil. - Source

09/09/08 - At top of Greenland, new worrisome cracks in ice
In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday. If it does worsen and other northern Greenland glaciers melt faster, then it could speed up sea level rise, already increasing because of melt in sourthern Greenland. The crack is 7 miles long and about half a mile wide. It is about half the width of the 500 square mile floating part of the glacier. Other smaller fractures can be seen in images of the ice tongue, a long narrow sliver of the glacier. - Source

09/09/08 - Once-a-Week Byetta Fights Diabetes
A once-a-week version of the popular type 2 diabetes drug Byetta proved more effective for controlling blood sugar in a newly released study than the currently approved twice-a-day version of the drug. - Source

09/09/08 - Menstrual Blood May Save Lives
KeelyNet Many refer to it as ‘nature’s curse on women’. It’s commonly thought of as unclean. In some cultures, women are not even allowed to cook during those days of month. But, path-breaking new research could change the way people view the menstrual cycle. And it’s here in India, for the first time ever. The blood that uselessly leaks away from a woman’s body every month until she hits menopause is a good source of stem cells, which are still at an early stage of development and retain the potential to turn into many different types of cell. - Source. / And this very odd 'lost' page about Menstrual Blood as Fertilizer - 'a woman i know wears those cotton moon pads...then when it is full, she lets it soak in a bucket of water and then pours the menstrual-water on the plants' / 'i know that menstrual blood attracts ants like nothing i've even seen so you might wanna keep that in mind if spreading it on stuff inside or near your people places.' / 'I have used it on my house plants for years, just diluted in water once a month! They are all happy, healthy plants...have a friend who watered her zucchini plant with it one summer, and won the largest zucchini contest at the fair.' / 'I would guess that menstrual blood would have the same (or) very similar properties as blood meal. The main benefit I have found in my research is nitrogen, and potential boosting of compost piles. (see www.ext.vt.edu/department...n89pr6.html by the Virginia Tech Coop Extension for more detail) A BIG CONCERN I would have in using any blood-based products is the possibility of contamination of plants (particularly any that you would expect to use as food and/or decoration) with any potential blood-borne agents.

09/09/08 - PC Fixer - 09/07/08
KeelyNet DigitalSupportTech.com has this free service called PC Fixer, and it turns out be a collection of programs that scan your PC and look for things that clog it up. It’s real fast. Joy ran the Norton Tune-Up just a couple of weeks ago, which announced it had cleared the system of problems, but PC Fixer found 20 additional problems that were slowing down her computer. Of course they weren’t slowing it down much because we recently added two more gigabytes of memory to her Vista computer and that will speed anything up. PC Fixer found 63 problems on Bob’s XP machine, but that’s probably because Bob hadn’t run the Norton Tune-Up earlier. Bob can be cranky sometimes and refuses to run any programs from Symantec on his regular computer. (This is a response to long and bitter experience.) This new tech support service with the long Web address also does things you have to pay for. That is, tech support itself. The company charges $20 to fix your Windows computer problem, or, if it can’t be fixed, there’s no charge. We have tried several online and phone tech support services and this is the lowest cost by far. We were quite satisfied. - Source

09/09/08 - $25,000 DIY Hybrid Car Kit
KeelyNet "Building hybrids uses machinery that pollutes the environment. The solution? Ship the parts of a hybrid individually and get your customers to put the car together themselves. That's exactly what Robert Q Riley Enterprises is doing, according to a story on CNet today, with its XR-3 hybrid. It'll cost you $25,000 for the bits, plus zero dollars in manufacture, I hope. Better yet, cough up $200 for the blueprints and schematics and even build the parts yourself. It's no secret that many hybrid drivers are smug enough as it is. Allow them to brag about having built the damn cars themselves and we might be entering obscenely smug territory." - Source

09/09/08 - Drill Baby Drill, but invest the proceeds in clean energy
We hope this price crisis prompts the adoption of a strategic plan to use the remaining value of our federally owned oil and natural gas reserves to fund a clean, affordable and independent energy future for America, a goal worthy of short-term environmental concessions and risks. Virtually all general drilling bans should be lifted. We should permit drilling offshore and in the ANWR and require that it be done with appropriate care. Before granting additional drilling rights, however, we should fundamentally change the terms of future oil and gas lease agreements to ensure that taxpayers capture more of the revenue from our remaining reserves. Today’s agreements provide exceptional profits for leaseholders when prices rise, so much so that leaseholders have a significant financial incentive to delay production until prices rise. That must change. To achieve a huge net win for the environment, the federal revenue from future oil and gas production should be placed in a trust fund and used to foster a clean energy future for America. This must supplement, not replace, other environmental commitments we have made. Simply adopting a plausible U.S. strategic plan for energy independence would have a positive impact on world oil prices. And absent a significant supply disruption, oil’s economic stranglehold would be eliminated if domestic demand stayed flat or grew only slightly while U.S. consumption of alternatives to oil, including natural gas, increased by a few percentage points a year. With prompt federal action, we could quickly achieve these demand and growth rates and greatly reduce oil’s pressure on prices. The United States can be virtually free of fossil-fuel use within a few decades — if we pursue this goal aggressively. - Source

09/09/08 - Better to Be Fat and Fit Than Skinny and Unfit
Often, a visit to the doctor’s office starts with a weigh-in. But is a person’s weight really a reliable indicator of overall health? Increasingly, medical research is showing that it isn’t. Despite concerns about an obesity epidemic, there is growing evidence that our obsession about weight as a primary measure of health may be misguided. Last week a report in The Archives of Internal Medicine compared weight and cardiovascular risk factors among a representative sample of more than 5,400 adults. The data suggest that half of overweight people and one-third of obese people are “metabolically healthy.” That means that despite their excess pounds, many overweight and obese adults have healthy levels of “good” cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and other risks for heart disease. At the same time, about one out of four slim people — those who fall into the “healthy” weight range — actually have at least two cardiovascular risk factors typically associated with obesity, the study showed. - Source

09/09/08 - Vibrating Cells Disclose Their Ailments
KeelyNet Researchers at MIT have measured the frequency at which red blood cells vibrate and have shown that those frequencies reflect the health of the cells. A red blood cell is like a bag filled with fluid, and as it moves, the fluid is constantly changing shape, creating tiny vibrations in the cell's membrane. To measure the cells' vibrational frequencies, the researchers combined Feld's imaging technique with diffraction phase microscopy, in which a laser beam that passes through a cell rejoins a reference beam that does not, creating a distinctive interference pattern. To establish the connection between the cells' vibration and their health, the researchers used Feld's technique to create three-dimensional images of a malarial parasite inside a red blood cell. They also measured the levels of hemoglobin inside the cells during various stages of a malarial infection. - Source

09/09/08 - Make Your Own Time-Lapse Photography System
With time-lapse photography, it's possible to compress time into short periods, making days or weeks pass by in seconds. Hackneyed examples include flowers unfolding in the sun and clouds passing across scenic horizons. But cobble together a cheap digital camera, a $129 timer, and a motorcycle battery, and you've got the basics of a system that can go far beyond clichés. The camera is programmed to take one frame every 12 minutes during work hours, and it's recorded over 50,000 frames so far. I use a 512MB Compact Flash card, which holds two weeks of images. I change the card every other Saturday. The camera box needs occasional cleaning because spiders spin webs around the lens. When I collect the memory card, I download the images to a folder on my disk drive, creating thumbnail images simultaneously using the Macintosh application ImageCapture. After transferring the images, I weed out obviously underexposed images -- the camera records a few frames in darkness each day. The images are JPEGs, each 1024 x 768 pixels in size. The camera numbers the frames automatically, so they're always in a four-digit sequence. Combining a series of still images into a movie is the simplest part of the process. I use Apple's QuickTime Pro ($29 for Mac or Windows). It can assemble a movie from a folder of images (Figure 7), set the frame rate to a speed of your choice, and then create a QuickTime movie in a few moments. It's that easy. - Source

09/09/08 - Pills to keep you Warm
KeelyNet The pill contains glycine, an amino-acid that causes the body to generate more heat than it can otherwise produce. It is hoped the pill might enable men to stay alive longer in icy water, and hasten the warming of a man who has been chilled to a critical point of exposure. At the laboratory, operated by the Air Force at Ladd Air Force Base, volunteers are taking the pills with no evidence of ill effect. If the tests are successful the pills could be included in survival kits. - Source

09/09/08 - 'Climate crisis' needs brain gain
The most brilliant minds should be directed to solving Earth's greatest challenges, such as climate change, says Sir David King. He suggested that less time and money be spent on endeavours such as space exploration and particle physics. He said population growth and poverty in Africa also demanded attention. "The challenges of the 21st Century are qualitatively different from anything that we've had to face up to before," he told reporters before the opening of the festival, which is being held this year in Liverpool. "This requires a re-think of priorities in science and technology and a redrawing of our society's inner attitudes towards science and technology." "It's all very well to demonstrate that we can land a craft on Mars, it's all very well to discover whether or not there is a Higgs boson (a potential mass mechanism); but I would just suggest that we need to pull people towards perhaps the bigger challenges where the outcome for our civilisation is really crucial." When he was the government's top scientist, he made the famous remark that the threat from climate change was bigger than the threat posed by terrorism. He said alternatives to fossil fuels were desperately needed to power a civilisation that would number some nine billion people by mid-century - nine billion people who would all expect a high standard of living. - Source

09/09/08 - Video - Choosing Sarah
"I'm the freaking Governor of Alaska. I didn't get there by just eating mooseburgers and popping out kids." - Source

09/09/08 - Luxim dazzles with solid-state light
On Monday, Luxim released a solid-state high-intensity light source it hopes will be adopted in place of current TV studio lights and rigs used in theatres and concert venues. Tony McGettigan, chief executive, put the light, powered by a single bulb the size of a large matchstick head, next to a standard spotlight and aimed them at colour cards. The Luxim light had the same intensity and rendered the colours truly while the spotlight gave them a washed-out appearance. Luxim says its “LIFI” solution reduces power consumption by 50 per cent compared to conventional High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs and lasts 10 times longer. It promises its bulbs will pay for themselves in savings over two years. Radio frequencies oscillate within an electrically-charged alumina drum containing the bulb, but instead of the energy build-up being released outwards generating radio waves, it is contained by an outer core and focused inwards on the bulb, provoking a chemical reaction inside and generating intense light. - Source

09/09/08 - Congestion and its comeuppance
Sina Zarrintan devised what he calls "a unique treatment" for adult men who have nasal congestion. It's a do-it-yourself form of treatment, no doctors or equipment needed. If your nose is stuffed up, and you want to unstuff it, and if you're a man, ejaculate. Zarrintan, who is based at Tabriz Medical University in Iran, wrote a study called Ejaculation as a Potential Treatment of Nasal Congestion in Mature Males, which he published recently in the journal Medical Hypotheses. The study does not say whether there is a related or parallel treatment for women. Ejaculation offers cheerier prospects, bringing in its wake a happy host of physiological effects throughout the congested male sufferer's entire body. Zarrintan explains that "its emission phase provides a sympathetic stimulation and subsequent vasoconstriction and nasal decongestion. Also, the refractory period serves as a sympathetic reservoir and maintains the decongestive state for a considerable while." The advantages, he says, are clear. First, "this method does not wish to have the adverse effects of pharmaceutical decongestants because it is a physiologic stimulation of the sympathetic system in the body". And maybe best of all: "It can be done time-to-time to alleviate the congestion and the patient can adjust the number of intercourses or masturbations depending on the severity of the symptoms." - Source

09/09/08 - Rumormill: VW Microbus back on the table?
KeelyNet The Sydney Morning Herald reports that VW's entertaining the possibility of a 21st-century Microbus built on the same platform as the new sedan that'll pe produced at VW's Chattanooga, TN facility. An unnamed "senior Volkswagen official" told the paper that European production's basically a non-starter, and Volkswagen Group of America's Jill Bratina played it coy, saying only that a second vehicle line out of Chattanooga is "conceivable in the foreseeable future." A locally-built, car-based Microbus is an idea that certainly piques our interest. How about yours? - Source

09/09/08 - Universal flu vaccine tests start
A universal flu vaccine which could mean an end to the annual jab is being tested on UK volunteers. It targets a different part of the virus to current vaccines, which means it does not have to be altered every year to match circulating strains. The vaccine uses a weakened smallpox virus to carry the proteins into the body - a technique that has already been used in malaria and TB vaccines. Once the virus has invaded the cell and starts to multiply, these inner proteins called matrix protein 1 and nucleo-protein, are revealed to the immune system. A specific type of immune cell, called a T cell, then learns to recognise and destroy cells containing the proteins the next time it encounters them. - Source

09/07/08 - Brit firm to demo serious flying robo-saucer in 2009
KeelyNet GFS Projects of Peterborough was registered in 2002, following early efforts by former hovercraft engineer Geoff Hatton to develop a working "flying saucer" aircraft based on the Coanda effect. (GFS stands for Geoff's Flying Saucers.) The Reg spoke to GFS marketing chief Mark Broughton this morning, who gave us a run-through on the "Fenstar 50" autonomous unmanned saucer which the company hopes to have flying in the first half of next year. Firstly, the Fenstar 50 will be the first GFS saucer to use an internal combustion engine. Previous craft have been electrically powered, and have suffered from very short endurance. The current electric saucer, which formed part of Team MIRA at the recent MoD "Grand Challenge" ambush-sniffing tech contest, can normally stay up for just two and a half minutes. The new Fenstar 50 is expected to manage up to an hour, carrying a payload of 5kg - a quarter of its all-up weight. GFS aims to keep the total weight under 20kg, as this is the most that the CAA allows under model aircraft rules. Any more would take the company into the hugely more onerous certification regime for full-sized aircraft. Even at 20kg, however, the Fenstar 50 will be significantly bigger and more capable than one of its main rivals, the Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) from Honeywell. The MAV uses a ducted fan rather than a GFS-style Coanda surface, but this offers similar advantages - neither vehicle has projecting helicopter-style rotors. Both of them can thus fly about happily in between buildings, and perhaps in and out of doors and windows etc. Both could be very useful as reconnaissance machines for soldiers, especially in dangerous urban combat - indeed Honeywell's machine has already seen action in Iraq. The MAV runs on a two-stroke petrol engine like the Fenstar, and offers similar endurance, though it weighs just 7.25 kg and can barely lift a pair of cameras. - Source

09/07/08 - San Bruno company banking on cord blood
Wendy and Steve Grant have made a $100 million business out of something that everyone is born with and is almost always thrown away: stem-cell rich blood from umbilical cords. Operating since early 1995, the company cryogenically preserves about 280,000 cord-blood units in an Arizona laboratory. The samples have about a 1-in-400 chance of being used to treat leukemia and other blood conditions - typically those in which a bone-marrow match could be needed... The cord blood can be used not just for the donor, but is far more likely to be compatible with siblings and parents than unrelated donors. Cord blood, often called placenta blood, is blood that is in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth and after the cord is cut; it does not come from embryonic fetuses. Cord Blood Registry charges nearly $2,000 for the initial collection and processing of cord blood, and $125 a year to maintain the sample. Payment plans are available and, in some cases, the service may be provided free to families who have a verifiable need. "There may be a few rare cases where a family history of a disease might increase the possibility that privately banking blood will be useful," said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. Magnus said he supports the public banking of cord blood for anyone who may need it, but considers private cord-blood banking "a modern version of selling snake oil" and "plays on parents' fears and the desire to do what's best for their children, combined with a lack of understanding of the fact that this offers nothing of value." The Grants bristled at that contention, saying that cord blood has demonstrated life-saving usages and that people can choose how to spend their money. In addition, because most cancers have unknown causes, it is difficult to predict if and when the blood will be needed. - Source

09/07/08 - Concrete-jet 'printers' to build houses, Moonbases in hours
KeelyNet Most readers will be aware of so-called "3D printing" techniques, in which solid objects can be constructed automatically from computer models. Researchers in California intend to scale the process up radically, using "contour crafting" concrete extrusion to erect buildings in a matter of hours. "Instead of plastic, Contour Crafting will use concrete," says Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California. Khoshnevis and his colleagues have just announced funding for their efforts from Caterpillar, the construction-equipment globocorp. Contour Crafting equipment, apparently, can already create a six-foot concrete wall without any human input. It does this by putting down smooth, neatly-trimmed layers of concrete one on top of another "in a process analogous to inkjet printing". Rather than ink, however, the heads on this equipment dispense "concrete, clay or adobe", which is smoothed as it goes along using an array of trowel attachments. The USC boffins reckon their robo-gantry gear can do more than just concrete boxes: it can apparently fit the plumbing and electrics as it goes along, do the plastering, and perhaps even fit some structural members. And there's no need for boring old boxy shapes, either. The equipment can happily create domes, vaults or any other shape that can be drawn in CAD software and support its own weight - at no added expense. As far as more normal buildings go, the USC constructioneers believe that it will be possible for an automated setup to erect a 2,000-square-foot, two storey house in 24 hours for about one-fifth of what such a project would normally cost. - Source

09/07/08 - Water Repellant Ion Mask Process
Film lovers will remember the 1951 Ealing Comedy with Sir Alec Guinness, The Man In The White Suit, in which a company - British, of course - developed a suit that couldn't get dirty. It resisted stains actively. The concept was purely fictional at the time, but half a century later, the research company P2i Labs has brought it a step closer to reality with the launch of its patented ion mask technology. Demonstrated last week, it involves treating materials in what looks like a big microwave oven and coating them at molecular level with a substance that isn't so much waterproof as water-repellent (hydrophobic): a treated kitchen towel and J-Cloth can be simply brushed dry. The clever bit, however, is that because the coating is microscopic it doesn't add weight or restrict air passage through the coated substance, which retains its characteristics. So the first products based on the technology to be available to the public - waterproof boots from Hi-Tec - keep feet dry but are as well-ventilated as their soakable counterparts. Possibly more important applications are those outside the clothing industry. Dr Ian Robins, P2i's business development director, says that a maker of pipettes has started using it. "The ion-mask process reduces the surface energy of the pipette tip and therefore almost completely eliminates the retention of any fluids, hence making far more accurate dispensing of fluids." - Source

09/07/08 - Plastics chemical 'harms brain function in monkeys'
Scientists have reported new evidence that low doses of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), widely used to make plastic food and drinking containers, can impair brain function in primates, extending the findings of previous research conducted in rats. Dr Hajszan and colleagues examined the influence of continuous exposure to BPA at a daily dose representing the US Environmental Protection Agency's current reference safe daily limit (50 micrograms per kilogram) in young adult African green monkeys. According to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, BPA completely abolished the formation of some nerve connections in two key regions of the brain - the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These findings have "profound implications," the investigators maintain, given the critical role of these nerve connections in cognition and mood. "Based on these findings, we think the EPA may wish to consider lowering its 'safe daily limit' for human BPA consumption," Dr Hajszan said. - Source

09/07/08 - Solar energy can meet all the world's energy demands: expert
"The solar energy resource is enormous, and distributed all over the world, in all countries and also oceans," said Daniel Lincot, the chairman of the five-day European Photovoltaic Solar Energy conference held in Valencia. Last year the world production of photovoltaic models represented a surface of 40 square kilometres (16 square miles) while meeting the electrical consumption of countries like France or Germany would require 5,000 square kilometres, he said. Under current scenarios, photovoltaic models will represent about 1,000 square kilometres by 2020 accounting for about only 3.0 percent of energy needs in the 27-member European Union, he added. Over 200 scientists and solar power experts have signed a declaration calling on the accelerated deployment of photovoltaic power which was launched at the conference. - Source

09/07/08 - Colloidal Silver Argyria, the Gray Skin Condition
Media reports are abuzz today with the story of Rosemary Jacobs, a 66-year-old Vermont woman who says her skin is permanently gray because of colloidal silver. Jacobs blames her gray skin, a condition called argyria, on colloidal silver in nasal drops that she took as needed for four years starting as an 11-year-old. She says her skin slowly turned gray. Jacobs' case was noted in May 1999 in The New England Journal of Medicine. You wouldn't get colloidal silver exactly the way Jacobs did today. The FDA has cracked down on colloidal silver, but that doesn't mean those products are totally gone. Paul Karason, the so-called "Blue Man" in California who says he drank colloidal silver and applied it to his skin, has also attracted media attention for his argyria. Jacobs says she wants colloidal silver supplements to carry warning labels about argyria. She also wants anyone who makes unsubstantiated claims about their safety and efficacy to be prosecuted. Colloidal silver is composed of tiny silver particles suspended in liquid. Colloidal silver products are often marketed with unproven health claims. "Examples include that they benefit the immune system; kill disease-causing agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi; are an alternative to prescription antibiotics; or treat diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, syphilis, scarlet fever, shingles, herpes, pneumonia, and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate)," states the NCCAM's web site. - Source

09/07/08 - The Google Navy
"Is Google preparing to launch its own Navy? In its just-published application for a patent on the Water-Based Data Center, Google envisions a world where 'computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.' And you thought The Onion was joking when it reported on Google's Fleet of Naval Warships!" - Source

09/07/08 - 20 year Oil Rights from Iraq for China
KeelyNet While America has spent thousands of lives and trillions of dollars - as well as put untold amounts of stress upon its military - the Chinese have spent only patience. After the surge of '07-'08, Muqtada Al-Sadr finally extended the cease-fire indefinitely, which has reduced Iraqi violence substantially. China, one of the nations most strongly opposing the invasion, has simply waited for the violence to die down before striking the first oil deal with Iraq. For the fixed fee of $3 billion, China has 20 years of drilling rights to the Ahdab oil field, which comes with an expected yield ramping up to 125,000 barrels of oil per day. The spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry hopes this first contract, "will refute all the rumors that say the American companies are the only ones benefiting from the American occupation." - Source

09/07/08 - Space Travel in Excess of the Light Speed
Research students at Baylor have devised a theoretical means of propelling spacecraft at speeds exceeding the speed of light. The principle relies on creating a dark energy depression in front of the ship while increasing the mass of dark energy behind the ship. In essence, a spacecraft slips through a dark energy pocket. Unfortunately for engineers, the physicists calculate the process would require converting a Jupiter sized mass into pure energy in order to propel a small 10 meter vehicle. This effect is also achievable when the collective brainpower of OmniNerd is harnessed to warp the fabric of space and time, creating an intense ripple of energy upon which vessels may surf through space at ludicrous speed. - Source

09/07/08 - China grows 'Super Vegetables' with Seeds from Outer Space
KeelyNet While most governments are reacting to the global food shortage by growing more food, the Chinese have decided to grow the same amount of fruits and vegetables, but with A TWIST: giant versions of standard food staples: 210-pound pumpkins, 2-pound tomatoes, and cucumbers that are over 2-feet long -- that are currently feeding families in 22 of China's provinces, and governments in Europe, Japan and elsewhere are taking notice. This weird, believe-it-or-not scenario becomes even more fantastic as it turns out that the reason these foods can grow so huge is because they've been sent to outer space. The seeds get blasted into outer space, and, after they return, transform into enormous eatables -- but no one knows why. Once the seeds are returned from space they are cultivated and only fruit or vegetables that show improvements in size, taste or vitamin and mineral content are selected. The seeds from these plants are then bred over at least another three generations to ensure they remain stable. The Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Science, 50 miles from Guangzhou, could be the taste of things to come as China struggles to feed its 1.3billion population. Vast farms are already being used to cultivate these crops as space fruit and vegetables are put on dinner tables across China. A total of 22 provinces are taking part in the programme, coordinated by the China Academy of Sciences. Futuristic greenhouses in southern China give birth to 15-stone pumpkins - 10 times their normal size - 160lb Chinese winter melons, chilli plants the size of small trees with fiery 9in-long fruit which look more like exotic peppers. Alongside are 14lb aubergines, 2lb tomatoes and 2ft cucumbers. Chinese scientists claim some space fruit and veg are better than the original. The Vitamin C content in some vegetables is nearly three times higher and there is a marked increase in trace elements such as zinc. Yields of space rice are also 25 per cent higher. Research also shows that certain space breeds use proportionately less water than their more traditional predecessors so they could be perfect for arid areas. To date China has bred more than 50 new species of plants and has plans to produce more than 200 new species. - Source

09/07/08 - Remote Satellite Imaging Predicts Outbreaks Of Infectious Disease
Scientists in the USA have established a way to predict outbreaks of cholera, making it easier to control. This finding could provide a model to predict and potentially control outbreaks of other important infectious diseases. Professor Rita R. Colwell and her team at the University of Maryland, College Park, have used remote satellite imaging to track this climatologically important information and the data collected now can be used to predict outbreaks of cholera before they occur. - Source

09/07/08 - UK Behind Marine Renewables' Rising Tide
Scotland, with its long stretches of west-facing coastlines, North Atlantic latitude and longstanding tradition of maritime engineering and commerce, is now at the leading edge of change when it comes to fostering development of marine renewables. Wavegen's Limpet 500 system has been pumping electricity from the western Scottish Isle of Islay shoreline since 2000 while the company and project developer npower renewables have continued to move forward with plans to develop the Siadar Wave Energy Project, potentially the first under the Scottish government's Marine Supply Obligation program. Marine Current Turbines is getting ready to flip the switch and fully commission a grid-connected 1.2-megawatt (MW) Seagen tidal turbine-based system in Northern Ireland's Strangford Narrow, while elsewhere in the EU, project developers and the marine renewables community await the much-anticipated commissioning of Pelamis's novel, serpent-like wave power system off the northern Portuguese coast. - Source

09/07/08 - World on Fast Lane to Brain Dead
KeelyNet Video games are weakening the ability to think for ourselves. Unless we wake up to the damage that the gadget-filled, pharmaceutically-enhanced 21st century is doing to our brains, we could be sleepwalking towards a future in which neuro-chip technology blurs the line between living and non-living machines, and between our bodies and the outside world. It would be a world where such devices could enhance our muscle power, or our senses, beyond the norm, and where we all take a daily cocktail of drugs to control our moods and performance. An electronic chip is being developed that could allow a paralysed patient to move a robotic limb just by thinking about it. Increasing numbers of people already take Prozac for depression, Paxil as an antidote for shyness, and give Ritalin to children to improve their concentration. But what if there were still more pills to enhance or "correct" a range of other specific mental functions? What would such aspirations to be "perfect" or "better" do to our notions of identity, and what would it do to those who could not get their hands on the pills? Would some finally have become more equal than others, as George Orwell always feared? Of course, there are benefits from technical progress - but there are great dangers as well, and I believe that we are seeing some of those today. Anyone who doubts the malleability of the adult brain should consider a startling piece of research conducted at Harvard Medical School. There, a group of adult volunteers, none of whom could previously play the piano, were split into three groups. The first group were taken into a room with a piano and given intensive piano practise for five days. The second group were taken into an identical room with an identical piano - but had nothing to do with the instrument at all. And the third group were taken into an identical room with an identical piano and were then told that for the next five days they had to just imagine they were practising piano exercises. The resultant brain scans were extraordinary. Not surprisingly, the brains of those who simply sat in the same room as the piano hadn't changed at all. Equally unsurprising was the fact that those who had performed the piano exercises saw marked structural changes in the area of the brain associated with finger movement. But what was truly astonishing was that the group who had merely imagined doing the piano exercises saw changes in brain structure that were almost as pronounced as those that had actually had lessons. Already, it's pretty clear that the screen-based, two dimensional world that so many teenagers - and a growing number of adults - choose to inhabit is producing changes in behaviour. Attention spans are shorter, personal communication skills are reduced and there's a marked reduction in the ability to think abstractly. - Source

09/07/08 - The Science of Sniffing out Liars
Researcher Eric Haseltine relies on functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic encephalography, and some very, very sophisticated electroencephalography—one of the techniques used to test so-called guilty knowledge. That’s where you expose somebody to something and they have guilty knowledge—they’ve seen it before, let’s say. You can tell by looking at their brain response, up to a point, whether their brain has seen that thing or not. You say, well, do you know X, or have you seen X, and they say no, but their brain says otherwise. Other work is trying to make traditional polygraphy better by using, for example, algorithms instead of humans to look at what’s coming in on the needle. The polygrapher, who is only human, can have a positive or negative bias about the subject that will color the interpretation of what’s on the needles, so there is a lot of work to make it objective. Algorithms can do a better job of telling if there is a good physiological response, but it’s still a big leap to telling whether the person is lying. It’s still in the basic research phase and far from being something that I would feel comfortable relying on, especially when it gets into the issue of cross-cultural communications. And there are other factors that we don’t completely understand. For example, the kind of person you worry about the most is one who has what we call antisocial personality disorder [a person who is indifferent to the needs of others]. Those people seem to have low guilt and anxiety. Do they have the same physiological response as someone who is “normal”? Yes and no. Lying requires a mental workload, which, according to some scientists, drives up the blood pressure and heart rate regardless of your emotional state, and so there may be some similarities and there may not be. Those are questions that require more investigation. So I personally would not put a lot of stock in any of these measures, including polygraphy per se. - Source

09/07/08 - China's first solar-electric car unveiled in Anhui
The solar-electric vehicle was developed by Maanshan Qisheng New-energy Technology Company in eastern China's Anhui province. The high-tech firm's chairman Wu Qi said that the company has spent six years in developing this all-new vehicle model independently by absorbing some foreign state-of-the-art technologies of auto-use new energy. This solar-electric car design has gained the national invention patent and the vehicle is having a trial run in tourist resorts of Hainan Island in South China. Wu said the car has a top speed of 20 km/h and a lifespan of more than three years. It can run 200 km without stopping and go up a slope of 15 degrees. China's tourism market currently needs about 100,000 units of this kind of electric car with solar energy for compensatory power. Qisheng New-energy Tech Company has plans to make 50,000 solar-electric cars annually by 2013, which will generate 2.6 billion yuan ($380 million) in output value. - Source

09/07/08 - As climate changes, will patterns of disease shift as well?
Epidemiologists differ on how much blame for illness can be laid on the overarching phenomenon of global warming. Some experts point out that improvements in sanitation and technological advances have gone far in controlling epidemics. But for at least a decade, scientists — steering clear of laying down specifics — have predicted that climate change will ultimately shift disease patterns in the state. "Climate change is altering the distribution, incidence and intensity of animal and plant pests and diseases," according to a June report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Scientists say the globe has warmed about 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit over the past year, though not uniformly. A 1997 federal Environmental Protection Agency report on Texas and climate change noted, "Warming and other climate changes may expand the habitat and infectivity of disease-carrying insects, thus increasing the potential for transmission of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever." - Source

09/07/08 - Is Peak Oil the New Y2K?
"Is peak oil the next Y2K?" Let's see: hysterical zealots screaming the world is going to end, entire forests wiped out to provide dire reports on the problem and in the end, nothing actually happening. (via fark.com) - Source

09/05/08 - Russian Super Generator to create electromagnetic super weapon
KeelyNet Russian scientists recently developed a generator, the capacity of which is comparable to that of a nuclear unit. It is a genuine scientific breakthrough, and it is already clear that the defense industry will not be the only field where the new super device is going to be used. “The devices generating such power – billions of watts – used to be very large in size before. This appliance has a very short impulse, which makes it possible to have it on a desk – it is a very compact device,” the Director of Lebedev’s Institute of Physics, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Gennady Mesyats said. Never before had a relatively small device ever been able to generate electromagnetic impulses the capacity of which could be comparable to a huge water power plant. It is ten times as much as any foreign-made analogue. The new device can be used practically anywhere. The invention will let specialists create radar telescopes and radars of new generation. Missile troops and defense departments on the whole will most likely be the first customers to order the appliance. The new generators can also be used to check the stability of large energy objects and systems. The device is capable of imitating the strays which appear as a result of a lightning strike or even a nuclear blast. It is impossible to take photographs or film a video of the new generator in action because it immediately puts all electronic devices out of order. The research that was used for the creation of such a device can be applied in the development of electromagnetic weapons. “No one has ever studied biological effects of such impulses. It is obvious that it affects the electronic equipment near it. Computers or cell phones have to be screened from such radiation,” Mikhail Yalandin, a senior specialist of the Institute of Electrophysics said. The device was called Nika, which means ‘victory’. - Source

09/05/08 - Energy's Most Dangerous Game
All the energy America needs for the next 100 years lies under the sea off the coast of South Carolina. One problem: Digging it out could cause a global climate disaster. Methane is the principal component of natural gas, and massive amounts of it are trapped in reservoirs beneath the sea floor and under a layer of the ice-like substance. The scale of the resource is spectacular. By some estimates, methane hydrates contain more energy content than all other known fossil fuels combined. A substantial amount of evidence suggests that weakening the lattice-like structure of gas hydrates has triggered underwater landslides on the continental margin. In other words, the extraction process, if done improperly, could cause sudden disruptions on the ocean floor, reducing ocean pressure rates and releasing methane gas from hydrates. A mass release of methane into the sea and atmosphere could have catastrophic consequences on the pace of climate change. - Source

09/05/08 - Funding is sought for ‘green’ energy-saving gizmo
KeelyNet RainWise of Bar Harbor, in partnership with the Blue Hill-based PowerHouse Dynamics, is hoping to start testing their new eMonitor this fall. The Internet-based power management system is designed to keep track of the power consumption, around the clock, of appliances and outlets, showing households and businesses how and where electricity is wasted. By making individually tailored energy saving suggestions, the eMonitor can help customers reduce power consumption by up to 25 percent, according to Carsten Steenberg of PowerHouse Dynamics. “The way we use power today is like driving a car without a dashboard,” Mr. Steenberg said in a press release. The eMonitor is designed to function as that dashboard, providing appliance-by-appliance feedback that enables consumers to understand the exact electrical power usage in their home or business. They are slated to begin beta testing of the tissue-box-size eMonitor next month. The main unit for the eMonitor is installed next to the home’s electric panel. More than 30 channels are available for analyzing individual electrical behaviors. One channel measures total power going to the home from the grid. Up to 24 individual clip-on sensors on appliances and at different locations can give independent readings. Small appliances and devices are analyzed at the circuit level. Wall outlet power meters can be installed in case too many different outlets are on the same breaker to be analyzed correctly. Along with sending information to a local mini-monitor, the eMonitor sends information to a secure server at PowerHouse Dynamics, where it is added to a massive database of other appliances and power usage. Based on performance, the server will send scheduled messages in any format the user chooses, from e-mail to text messages. The PowerHouse eMonitor™, a kind of "green engineer in a box," is patent pending #61/051,026, and gives consumers a clear and detailed picture of their electricity usage and further suggests ways to conserve power based on data from their home or business. - Source

09/05/08 - Chemists create 'powdered methane'
KeelyNet Andrew Cooper and his colleagues at the University of Liverpool, UK, have found that they can trap methane in a bizarre material dubbed 'dry water', a mixture of silica and water that looks and acts like a fine white powder1. The methane reacts with the water to produce a crystalline material called methane gas hydrate, in which individual methane molecules sit inside ice-like cages of water molecules. In principle, this could offer a way to store methane conveniently for use as a vehicle fuel. Methane-powered vehicles produce less pollution than those running off petroleum fuels.The problem is that the hydrate forms only under cold, pressurized conditions, and then very slowly. Typically, a skin of the material forms at the surface of water and prevents further growth. The formation rate can be speeded up by vigorously mixing the gas with water, but that is costly and cumbersome. Cooper and his colleagues have got round this problem by finding a way to break the water up into many tiny, stable droplets, massively increasing the surface area in contact with gas. They do this by converting water to 'dry water' by stirring it up with a special form of silica, called hydrophobic fumed silica. This consists of tiny grains of silica – the same basic material as sand – coated with a chemical layer that makes them water-repellent. The silica particles cover the surface of water droplets and stop them from coalescing. A litre of methane gas can be stored in about 6 grammes of the material. This storage capacity, they say, is very close to the target set by the US Department of Energy for such materials, and compares well with that of other candidate storage media. And crucially, it is made from cheap raw materials, helping to make this method economical relative to other, more exotic potential methane-capture materials such as designed molecular frameworks. - Source

09/05/08 - Video - Mobile fish farms could soon navigate the oceans
The first tests of the wandering cages have just taken place in Puerto Rico. "Depending on the size of the stock, large residues of fish faeces could catch under the cages and degrade the seabed," says Cliff Goudey from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anchoring cages against the battering of storms would also be a challenge. So Goudey came up with the idea of wandering cages. These wouldn't stay in any one place long enough to damage local wildlife, and could drift with storm waves to avoid feeling their full force. He recently tested the first self-propelled cage at a sea farm in Culebra, Puerto Rico. Existing near-shore farm cages are moved only occasionally, using large tugboats. To provide the necessary propulsion, two large propellers, 2.4 metres (8 feet) in diameter, are attached to one side of a 19-metre (62-feet) diameter spherical cage. The cage mostly follows the sea's natural currents, but if it drifts too far off course, the propellers can provide 12.4-horsepower propulsion to guide it back onto the planned route. The propellers are driven by electricity from a diesel generator on a small boat tethered above the cage. The prototype managed to propel itself at a steady rate of roughly 0.3 metres per second, with good manoeuvrability, Goudey reports. Future tests will see cages equipped with GPS receivers and route-planning software to autonomously keep the fish on track, perhaps steering themselves back to shore when it is time for harvesting. - Source

09/05/08 - 2008 World’s Most Ethical Companies
A number of companies out there think that a good CSR program consists only of a soapbox and a bullhorn. Unfortunately for them, just being loud doesn’t equate with being ethical. Likewise, simply dropping a cool $100 million into clever marketing and public relations doesn’t make a company ethical, either. The World’s Most Ethical Companies are the ones that go above and beyond legal minimums, bring about innovative new ideas to expand the public well being, work on reducing their carbon footprint rather than contributing to green washing and won’t be found next to the words “Billion Dollar Fine” in newspaper headlines any time in the near future. These are the companies that stand out among the competition in their industry. So if that’s what it takes to become one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, perhaps a good question to ask is, what does it take to be eliminated from consideration for the World’s Most Ethical? The obvious answers involve bribery, discrimination, fraud or any number of other illegal activities. The conditions of supplier factories must be taken into account too, as well as the company’s stance on the environment. Product liability is a factor as well. All of the 2008 World’s Most Ethical Companies are standouts in their industries. These companies up the ante for what it takes to be an ethical leader and force their competitors to follow suit or fall behind. - Source

09/05/08 - Intensifying the Sun
KeelyNet Solar concentrators can lower the overall cost of solar power by making it possible to use much smaller cells. But the concentrators are typically made of curved mirrors or lenses, which are bulky and require costly mechanical systems that help them track the sun. Unlike the mirrors and lenses in conventional solar concentrators, Baldo's glass sheets act as waveguides, channeling light in the same way that fiber-optic cables transmit optical signals over long distances. The dyes coating the surfaces of the glass absorb sunlight; different dyes can be used to absorb different wavelengths of light. Then the dyes reëmit the light into the glass, which channels it to the edges. Solar-cell strips attached to the edges absorb the light and generate electricity. The larger the surface of the glass compared with the thickness of the edges, the more the light is concentrated and, to a point, the less the power costs. By using certain combinations of dyes interspersed with other light-absorbing molecules, Baldo makes coatings that absorb one color but emit another. The emitted light is not quickly reabsorbed by the coatings, so more of it reaches the edges of the glass sheet. The coatings that Goffri is making absorb ultraviolet through green light and emit orange light. Once Goffri has prepared the final mixture, he pours a small amount on a 10-centimeter-wide glass square--the largest that can fit inside a device that spins the glass at 2,000 revolutions per minute to spread the ink evenly. Within a minute or two, the solvent has evaporated and the process is finished. The solar concentrator, with its coating of orange dye, is complete. - Source

09/05/08 - A GPS Watchband that Can Find Missing Persons
The Keruve GPS tracking device is a watch that can be worn by anyone, but was really designed for the purpose of aiding people with Alzheimer's. This High Tech watch has a built in GPS tracker and can be easily monitored via a small GPS receiver that the caregiver would carry with them. The receiver can also be set up to establish a perimeter that a patient can roam within and alert the health care worker when he/she has gone beyond a boundary. Unlike regular watches, this watch has a wristband that has a locking mechanism that can only be opened with the use of a special tool (hopefully the tool doesn't get lost). The Keruve tracking device is also waterproof. - Source

09/05/08 - Solar Powered A/C Not Just Talk Anymore
The Greencore patented GC 10200, made in the USA with eco-friendly materials comes in two models. One is a stationary; the other is a mobile version, which requires the use of batteries. This green A/C is set up so that when the sun doesn't shine it runs off the batteries that run off the power grid. In other words, it's a hybrid A/C that can switch from solar to battery easily. "Using a single 170-watt solar panel, it can keep a 600 square-foot room cool" (Treehugger ). A 600 square-foot room is about the size of a modular classrooms, a small mobile home, a single (sometimes double) room apartment, military tents, my entire downstairs which includes my office, living room, dining room, etc. This is wonderful. According to the Greencore website , "the amount of AC electricity needed to fully charge the batteries for three hours is less than the energy required for a typical coffee maker". That's pretty impressive considering how much electricity is needed to power even the most energy efficient AC today. In addition Greencore's AC units power up without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. So, not only is the Greencore A/C environmentally friendly it will help people and business save hundreds of dollars on their electric bill. The Greencore AC is also available with optional heating components making winter heating a little greener too. - Source

09/05/08 - Video - 8 Hilarious Robot Commercials
Whether it’s their charm or their stupidity, robots have always been interesting to watch in the media. In commercials specifically, their characters are often portrayed in a humorous role which can make anyone let out a small giggle. But shockingly, they’re not as popular as you think. Commercials with robots occur once in a blue moon (or when a science fiction movie comes out). Its surprising the entertainment industry doesn’t do more with them because they appeal to all ages. The following are just a handful of the robot commercials out there that will tickle your funny bone as well as leave you malfunctioning for more. - Source

09/05/08 - Wood Burning Truck to Travel Coast to Coast
Wayne Keith, a partner in Renewable Energy Systems (RES), began his design with an average 1991 Dodge Dakota packing a 5.2 liter V8. He then developed a system that would allow the stock engine to run on gassified bio-material while still being able to run on regular fuel. His design can take almost any carbon based matter and turn it into syngas which is then forced into the engine and combusted. Wood is the main source of fuel for the converted Dakota, but it can also run on switch-grass, crop residues and many other biomass sources that are readily available. For every pound of biomass that is burned, Mr. Keith can get around 1 mile on the road. He also owns a V6 Dakota from 1987 that gets about 1.5 miles per pound. The V8 can hit 80mph when running flat out while the V6 can cruise along at 65mph. Mr. Keith and the rest of Renewable Energy Systems are working with Auburn University, located in Auburn Alabama, to make a cross country trip using the 2 wood-burning Dakota's. They are planning on starting in Charleston, SC and driving to San Diego. From there they will go north through Los Angeles and San Francisco. - Source

09/05/08 - A Comb That Conquers Baldness
KeelyNet The Laser Comb Hairmax which has FDA approval and a thumbs up from Health Canada uses Photo Therapy Laser Technology to improve the appearance of hair. Although this type of technology has been in use for a number of years, Lexington International invented a device that enables you to restore hair that once was with no pain or discomfort in the comfort of your own home. So how does it work? Basically the comb directs laser beams into the hair follicles which in turn stimulates blood circulation with the end result developing a healthier scalp for new hair to grow upon. Using this isn't very time consuming either as you only need to use the Hairmax comb two to three times a week for approximately 15 minutes. - Source

09/05/08 - Want to Save 1,000 Gallons of Water?
The Water Watcher. It's a device that can go on any faucet or shower. It makes a beep and flashes a red light every time half of a gallon of water has come out of the faucet, to remind you to finish up what you are doing and not waste water. The Water Watcher could be used in homes, but also in gyms, college dorms, hotels, or other places with sinks and showers. People usually want to help the environment but don't always remember to. The Water Watcher can make everyone more aware of how much water they are using. People may not know that making their shower time just one minute shorter can save 1,000 gallons of water a year! If everyone in America did that, we could save over 300,000,000,000 gallons of water a year! I hope that people all around America and all around the world will use The Water Watcher some day to help conserve the earth's limited supply of water. - Source

09/05/08 - The Medicalisation of Everyday Life
As the pace of medical innovation slows to a crawl, how do drug companies stay in profit? By "discovering" new illnesses to fit existing products. When you’ve been working with bullshit for as long as I have, you start to spot recurring themes: quacks and the pharmaceutical industry use the exact same tricks to sell their pills, everybody loves a “science bit” - even if it’s wrong - and when people introduce pseudoscience into any explanation, it’s usually because there’s something else they’re trying desperately not to talk about. But my favourite is this: alternative therapists, the media, and the drug industry all conspire to sell us reductionist, bio-medical explanations for problems that might more sensibly and constructively be thought of as social, political, or personal. And this medicalisation of everyday life isn’t done to us; in fact, we eat it up. - Source

09/05/08 - Why Disasters Are Getting Worse
Floods and storms have led to most of the excess damage. The number of flood and storm disasters has gone up 7.4% every year in recent decades, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. (Between 2000 and 2007, the growth was even faster, with an average annual rate of increase of 8.4%.) Of the total 197 million people affected by disasters in 2007, 164 million were affected by floods. In recent decades, people around the world have moved en masse to big cities near water. The population of Miami-Dade County in Florida was about 150,000 in the 1930s, a decade fraught with severe hurricanes. Since then, the population of Miami-Dade County has rocketed 1,600%, to 2,400,000. So the same-intensity hurricane today wreaks all sorts of havoc that wouldn't have occurred had human beings not migrated. What's changed is what we've put in storms' way. Crowding together in coastal cities puts us at risk on a few levels. First, it is harder for us to evacuate before a storm because of gridlock. And in much of the developing world, people don't get the kinds of early warnings that Americans get. So large migrant populations — usually living in flimsy housing — get flooded out year after year. That helps explain why Asia has repeatedly been the hardest hit area by disasters in recent years. Secondly, even if we get everyone to safety, we still have more stuff in harm's way than ever before. So each big hurricane costs more than the big one before it, even controlling for inflation. But the most insidious effect of building condos and industry along water is that we are systematically stripping coasts of the protection that used to cushion the blow of extreme weather. - Source

09/03/08 - Solar Powered Desalination Farm to Bring Life to the Sahara
KeelyNet The ingenious plan, known as the Sahara Forest Project is simple: combine huge greenhouses with concentrated solar power (CSP) and plain old seawater. The solar power provides electricity for the farm of greenhouses, the desalination of the seawater provides both the freshwater and cooling required to grow a wide variety of crops. One of the benefits of using the Seawater Greenhouse, invented by Chris Paton, is that it doesn't draw water from the ever diminishing freshwater table and since we have an abundance of seawater across the globe it could potentially turn the most arid, inhospitable and usually poor regions of the planet into rich farming areas. The Seawater Greenhouses already produce lettuces, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. The nutrients to grow the crops could come from local seaweed or even be extracted from the seawater itself. The cost is not as astronomical as one would think, and is estimated at approximately $118 million for a 20 hectare site of greenhouses and a 10MW concentrated solar power farm. The initiative to harness the sun's power with the North Africa solar plan has already gained support in Europe from both the UK's Gordon Brown and French premier Nikolas Sarkozy and though expensive to set up, $150 billion, investing in the infrastructure, as government's have previously for oil, coal and nuclear could be more than worthwhile in the long term. - Source

09/03/08 - Video - Secret Behind Indian Guru Levitation Revealed
KeelyNet Accounts of Indian Guru Yogis performing acts of levitation have been documented as far back as 1884, but when a report and pictures were published in 1936 of Yogi Subbayah Pullavar, an Indian Guru, levitating for 4 minutes in front of some 150 witnesses, a serious interest into Yogis and their power of levitation. However, even when Yogi Pullavar performed his trick there was some questions into why he was hidden in the tent before and after actually levitating in the air. A recent video has surfaced that uncovers at least one method that Gurus use to Levitate in front of audiences and it may be the secret behind Indian Guru Levitation. - Source

09/03/08 - Nova Scotia’s Thermodynamic Engine Inventor sticks to guns
The Queens Co. inventor of an emissions free engine – depending on the fuel source - has been negotiating with an out-of-province investment group to keep his technology in Nova Scotia. Sheldon Robar says, “We finally passed one of the many hurdles of the negotiations. Nova Scotia comes first. This is where I want to start and after five weeks, they reluctantly agreed. The good part is one guy in that group understands the thermodynamics of refrigerants. He understands it (technology) will work, which you can’t read out of a book because this book hasn’t been written yet. Robar has spent over 27 years developing an engine that relies on a heated refrigerant propellant that’s ozone friendly. The closed loop system releases no emissions and requires extremely low heat temperatures for vapourization to occur and expand to generate the force needed to move a vehicle, generator and many other forms of machinery. Utilizing waste heat, as one example, is a potentially huge market, Robar says. He says he spurned other offers because of the thermodynamics expert mentioned above. Because of business negotiations, The Advance-confirmed investment group must remain anonymous, as usually occurs. Robar adds it hasn’t hurt that a former version of the technology has been patented at the United States Patent Office. - Source

09/03/08 - Wind powered Piezoelectric Generator
KeelyNet Inside the lab of energy engineering professor Cheon Wan-gi at Cheju National University is a meter-high tree that generates electricity from the breeze. Because the tree is made of piezoelectric material, it produces electricity when its branches and leaves are struck by wind. Winds blowing at 1.5 meters per second into this electric tree with 100 leaves can charge an AA battery in five to six hours. “Though the technology is not sufficient now, a material upgrade will significantly reduce charging time,” Cheon said. “While wind generators only work at wind speeds of seven to 25 meters per second, tree generators are available with a windspeed of four meters per second.” - Source

09/03/08 - Zero Point Energy Pump - AC Impulses
KeelyNet The device pump up zero point energy from the quantum vacuum energy sea. The principle to pump up zpe is making a positive - negative vortex which pop up the gateway to zero point energy. Then it convert the zp energy into ac impulses. Only 12v and 2 amp is required to run the device. The power it makes is around 150 watt. The device is made of a pc fan, aluminium ring and clear quartz crystal. Only diamagnetic elements can be used into the ring. Elements : Copper, Aluminium, Magnesium, Titan, Bismuth, Gold, Silver. When it spins - the aluminium ring pumps up zero point energy into the crystal which convert zero point energy into AC Impulses. (via zpenergy.com) - Source

09/03/08 - A Better Way to Make Hydrogen from Biofuels
A new catalyst makes hydrogen from ethanol with 90 percent yield, at a workable temperature, and using inexpensive ingredients. Umit Ozkan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, said that the new catalyst is much less expensive than others being developed around the world, because it does not contain precious metals, such as platinum or rhodium. "Rhodium is used most often for this kind of catalyst, and it costs around $9,000 an ounce," Ozkan said. "Our catalyst costs around $9 a kilogram." "Our research lends itself to what's called a 'distributed production' strategy. Instead of making hydrogen from biofuel at a centralized facility and transporting it to gas stations, we could use our catalyst inside reactors that are actually located at the gas stations. So we wouldn't have to transport or store the hydrogen -- we could store the biofuel, and make hydrogen on the spot." The catalyst is inexpensive to make and to use compared to others under investigation worldwide. The new dark gray powder is made from tiny granules of cerium oxide -- a common ingredient in ceramics -- and calcium, covered with even smaller particles of cobalt. It produces hydrogen with 90 percent efficiency at 660 degrees Fahrenheit (around 350 degrees Celsius) -- a low temperature by industrial standards. "Whenever a process works at a lower temperature, that brings energy savings and cost savings," Ozkan said. “Also, if the catalyst is highly active and can achieve high hydrogen yields, we don’t need as much of it. That will bring down the size of the reactor, and its cost”. The process starts with a liquid biofuel such as ethanol, which is heated and pumped into a reactor, where the catalyst spurs a series of chemical reactions that ultimately convert the liquid to a hydrogen-rich gas. - Source

09/03/08 - Ships could control climate change
A scientist at the University of Edinburgh has devised a new weapon in the fight against global warming: a fleet of 1,500 unmanned sailing ships creating wakes that whiten clouds to reflect the heat of the Sun better. The concept involves vessels powered by a radical rotary-sail technology that could patrol selected areas of ocean, spraying tiny droplets of seawater into existing clouds. The droplets increase the surface area and so whiten the cloud, bouncing more radiation back into space and offsetting the warming caused by burning fossil fuels. “The beauty of the system is that it runs on wind and seawater,” said Stephen Salter, author of a paper published today in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions. “You can apply the effect locally, to cool down the Arctic or the seas around coral reefs. It would give us complete control. We could even take ourselves back to a little ice age. The effects can be turned up or down, or shut off completely if something unexpected happens.” The cloud ships will be propelled by the wind, using a rotational aerodynamic force not used in ships for 80 years. The “Magnus Effect” was first observed by Sir Isaac Newton while watching tennis players use spin to change the trajectory of their shots. In 1926 a rotor-ship designed by Anton Flettner crossed the Atlantic, but the technology petered out in the Great Depression. Modern materials and the high cost of oil have sparked a revival: earlier this month Enercon, a German energy company, launched the first rotor-powered cargo vessel. - Source

09/03/08 - Scientists see moon as research outpost and training ground
Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center, called the establishment of a permanently occupied outpost on the moon as the "next step" toward the settlement of the solar system — one that will be international in nature. "Unlike the last time we went to the moon...everybody is going to the moon now. There are at least a dozen proposals I know of from various countries to go to the moon," Worden said. To fire up interest in moon exploration, NASA released last June a Cooperative Agreement Notice that solicited proposals to further NLSI objectives as well as the space agency's overall future lunar exploration needs. Those proposals are due at the end of this month. "I think the way to sell it is that we're going to the moon as a step beyond," said Chris McKay, an Ames-based space scientist who convened the NASA Lunar Science Conference. "The other is that the moon is an interesting enough place to stay as well. People talk about exit strategies on the moon...to touch base, leave and go to Mars. I think that's dumb." Paul Spudis, a senior lunar scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, suggested that the expertise needed to live and work off-planet can be honed on the moon. Those skills are to "arrive, survive, and thrive." "I've been trying to get NASA to adopt a mission statement of why we're going to the moon...not six themes, not 182 different sub-goals." The sentence that encapsulates the mission is, he said: "We're going to the moon to learn the skills we need to live and work productively on another world." Spudis advised that the challenge for NASA's vision of space exploration is to architect a program that uses small incremental and cumulative steps to build a capability over time. "It's not the next NASA program. It is not an entitlement to the science community. It is not a rocket-building program. It is a strategic direction," he said. - Source

09/03/08 - Trees kill odours and other emissions from poultry farms
Planting just three rows of trees around poultry farms can cut nuisance emissions of dust, ammonia, and odours from poultry houses and aid in reducing neighbour complaints, according to scientists from the University of Delaware. Some of the emissions were cut by almost half, George W. Malone, Ph.D., and colleagues said at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Trees also provide farms with the added benefit of reducing energy consumption, he noted. In response, they proposed planting trees to serve as a vegetative filter that could capture emissions from these family farms, which individually can house an average of 75,000 chickens. In a six-year study, Malone and his team found that a three-row plot of trees of various species and sizes reduced total dust by 56 percent, ammonia 53 percent, and odour 18 percent. We typically recommend the first row nearest the fans to be either a deciduous tree or a tree with a waxy leaf surface and the other two rows be an evergreen,' Malone said. The living filter system also has other benefits, Malone noted. For instance, it conserves energy by increasing shade and cooling in the summer and acts as a buffer to reduce heating costs in the winter. Not only do trees enhance air quality, they also improve the water quality around poultry farms because they can filter pollutants from soil and groundwater. - Source

09/03/08 - Free Will versus the Programmed Brain
If people come to believe that they don’t have free will, what will the consequences be for moral responsibility? In a clever new study, psychologists Kathleen Vohs at the University of Minnesota and Jonathan Schooler at the University of California at Santa Barbara tested this question by giving participants passages from The Astonishing Hypothesis, a popular science book by Francis Crick, a biochemist and Nobel laureate (as co-discoverer, with James Watson, of the DNA double helix). Half of the participants got a passage saying that there is no such thing as free will. The passage begins as follows: “‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. Who you are is nothing but a pack of neurons.” The passage then goes on to talk about the neural basis of decisions and claims that “…although we appear to have free will, in fact, our choices have already been predetermined for us and we cannot change that.” The other participants got a passage that was similarly scientific-sounding, but it was about the importance of studying consciousness, with no mention of free will. After reading the passages, all participants completed a survey on their belief in free will. Then comes the inspired part of the experiment. Participants were told to complete 20 arithmetic problems that would appear on the computer screen. But they were also told that when the question appeared, they needed to press the space bar, otherwise a computer glitch would make the answer appear on the screen, too. The participants were told that no one would know whether they pushed the space bar, but they were asked not to cheat. The results were clear: those who read the anti-free will text cheated more often! (That is, they pressed the space bar less often than the other participants.) Moreover, the researchers found that the amount a participant cheated correlated with the extent to which they rejected free will in their survey responses. The Western conception idea of free will seems bound up with our sense of moral responsibility, guilt for misdeeds and pride in accomplishment. We hold ourselves responsible precisely when we think that our actions come from free will. In this light, it’s not surprising that people behave less morally as they become skeptical of free will. - Source

09/03/08 - New Methods to protect wind generators during Voltage Dips
To provide a solution to the problems caused to wind turbines by sudden dips in voltage in a part of the electric grid. This was the objective of industrial engineer and member of INGEPER Research Team at the Public University of Navarre, Jesús López Taberna. The fruit of his research is a rotor model which enables anticipating how the wind power unit will behave in these situations. Mr López has patented two techniques of protection, one of which has already been transferred to a manufacturer who will exploit it at international level. This system allows the generator turbine to remain in operation during these voltage dips and thus prevent the wind energy converter from ceasing to function. The title of the PhD is: "The behaviour of wind-powered generators with double-fed asynchronous motor during voltage dips". A voltage dip is a sudden reduction in potential in the electric grid, followed by a rapid return to its normal value. This, at times, can be caused by lightening or a tree falling on power cables but also due to a large company consuming a lot of energy in one go. This drop in voltage happens in a matter of milliseconds; "we are aware of it because the lights begin to flicker or because they go off and on momentarily – but, for a machine, this can be an eternity", explained Mr López. In fact, an interruption of half a second in a productive process can cause the whole process to block and it may have to be reinitiated. With wind generators, in the case of a voltage dip, the electronic part of the unit can burn out or otherwise be destroyed, unless a protection system is installed "The current system of protection, known as Crowbar, has the advantage of being able to protect the machine but the disadvantage of the machine coming to a halt", pointed out Mr López. "For example, if a large company suddenly consumes a lot of current, the voltage drops. This causes the wind power units at El Perdon (Navarre) to disconnect and cease producing electricity. As a result, the power dip is even more accentuated and, consequently, it is even more difficult to bring the voltage up to its normal operating value". The research produced a rotor model which was "sufficiently simple to be able to deal with without having to carry out simulations. A model in which we can see what role each parameter of the machine plays, how they interact, how the current drops if we increase the leak inductances, etc". Once this model was developed, it was more or less easy to propose solutions. "The most important thing is that we have achieved solutions that enhance the behaviour of the machine without any need to change anything, except the control..." - Source

09/03/08 - 100 University Libraries from Around the World that Anyone Can Access
Universities house an enormous amount of information and their libraries are often the center of it all. You don't have to be affiliated with any university to take advantage of some of what they have to offer. From digital archives, to religious studies, to national libraries, these university libraries from around the world have plenty of information for you. Capturing images of manuscripts, art, and artifacts, digital libraries are an excellent way of both preserving the past and sharing it with everyone. - Source

09/03/08 - Vibration to remove Icicles
KeelyNet In order to reduce or even prevent icing of a surface, scientists used vibrations of said surface. How a roof can vibrate? Scientists know how – by means of electric generator of elastic waves, which disturb surfaces, covered with ice or water. Roofs vibrated in both ways: transverse and longitudinal directions. Experiments showed that patterns of a frozen liquid borders were similar to wave propagation lines: the smaller vibration amplitude was, the thicker was frozen liquid layer. No ice was detected from vibration epicenter till critical shift line, which position depended on wave frequency. “Active protection” turned out to make adhesion forces over 4 times less “sticky” – much better result than deicing coating showed. Set of preliminary experiments reveals that only several tens of Watts per one square meter are required for “active protection” of a city roof – considerably low power consumption, isn’t it? Now researchers are busy with working out specific recommendations for distributing disturbance sources over the roof surface and for finding optimal mode of vibration. For this purpose scientists should solve the problem of wave propagation in a multiplayer medium. “Active” roof protection has patents of invention of the Russia Federation. - Source

09/03/08 - Neutralizing Fluorocarbons
A new catalyst breaks down greenhouse gases and pollutants at room temperature. One type of fluorocarbon, the ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has now been widely banned under the Montreal Protocol, but the two other main types also present environmental problems. One of them is now used instead of CFCs as a coolant in refrigerators and air-conditioning units. Where such refrigerants leak into the environment, they function as greenhouse gases that are a thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide. Another type of fluorocarbon is used in many medical applications, including artificial blood. It, too, is a potent greenhouse gas and gets into the atmosphere as a by-product of the aluminum industry. But some species of it are also toxic and accumulate in the food chain, possibly increasing risk of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems. Brandeis's Oleg Ozerov, lead researcher of the current Science study, found a way to crack the carbon-fluorine bond by using a silicon-based catalyst that recycles itself, so it can spark the breakdown reaction over and over again. "The basic idea is that we use three things: the fluorocarbon, a silicon-based hydrogen source, and a catalyst which mediates between the two to replace the fluorine in the fluorocarbon with hydrogen," says Ozerov. "The active part of the catalyst is a positively charged silicon compound that kicks off the reaction by ripping the fluorine out of the fluorocarbon bond." Having a fluorine ripped out, explains Ozerov, causes the former fluorocarbon to pull a hydrogen molecule out of the silicon-based material. Losing a hydrogen, in turn, transforms the silicon-based material into another instance of the catalyst, so the reaction can continue. - Source

09/03/08 - The Lowest Common Denominator
KeelyNet It is easier for evildoers to lower others to their depths than it is for those who do good to elevate others to their heights. The most graphic illustration of this has been the abysmal legacy of George W. Bush and his cabal of criminals. In a few short years, his dictatorship has reduced the once hallowed principles of the United States to their “lowest common denominator.” And the rest of the world has followed. No nation is ever going to admit it is doing something for the “wrong” reasons, and governments are certainly not inclined to listen to hypocrites who commit the same acts they condemn. - Source

09/03/08 - Past decade is warmest in at least 1,300 years
Analyzing proxy data including marine and lake sediment cores, ice cores, coral cores and tree rings, Michael Mann and colleagues show that the past 10 years have been unusually warm compared with the previous two millennia. "Our results extend previous conclusions that recent Northern Hemisphere surface temperature increases are likely anomalous in a long-term context," the authors write. "Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years." - Source

09/01/08 - Ethanol In Gasoline Reportedly Wreaking Havoc On Small Engines
KeelyNet If you've been having trouble with your small gasoline power equipment lately, MSNBC reports that you're not alone: Small-engine mechanics nationwide are seeing a spike in engine damage they claim is attributable to the increasing use of ethanol in gasoline. We're not talking about E85 here either; apparently, it's the much more common (and in some places ubiquitous) E10 blend, which is 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, that technicians are blaming for gummed-up carburetors, internal rust and lubrication issues. Since ethanol combines readily with water, gasoline containing ethanol easily transports that suspended water into the engine. Once inside, the water can gum up carburetors and cause rust on key components, leading to rapid wear and eventual breakdown. On two-stroke engines, the potential for damage is even more acute. Small two-strokes carry their lubricating oil suspended in the air/fuel mixture. Mechanics are reporting that the presence of water in that mixture, carried by ethanol, is causing the lubricating oil to disperse before it reaches critical engine components. Since an oil-starved engine doesn't last long, customers are reporting mechanical failure after only a season or two of use. - Source

09/01/08 - Radioactive decay rates depend on the Earth-Sun distance (pdf)
KeelyNetAtomic Decay - The process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. / In summary, we have presented evidence for a correlation between changes in nuclear decay rates and the Earth-Sun distance. While the mechanism responsible for this phenomenon is unknown, theories involving variations in fundamental constants could give rise to such effects. These results are also consistent with the correlation between nuclear decay rates and solar activity suggested by Jenkins and Fischbach [18] if the latter effect is interpreted as possibly arising from a change in the solar neutrino flux. These conclusions can be tested in a number of ways. In addition to repeating long-term decay measurements on Earth, measurements on radioactive samples carried aboard spacecraft to other planets would be very useful since the sample - Sun distance would then vary over a much wider range. The neutrino flux hypothesis might also be tested using samples placed in the neutrino flux produced by nuclear reactors. - Source

09/01/08 - Hydrogen power may be way to go
KeelyNet Researchers from the Appalachian State University have recently promoted "hydrail'' as an alternative to a monorail, or conventional train travel to solve Melbourne's east-west traffic woes. Hydrail trains run on conventional rail lines and are powered by electricity from fuel cells similar to hydrogen-fuelled cars. The technology is in operation in Japan, Canada and Taiwan, with experts claiming hydrail trains are cheaper, cleaner and operate without the need for overhead lines. "Comparing Australia's awesome monorail (plans) with hydrail is `apples and oranges','' Mr Thompson said. "Monorail is faster, quieter and infinitely more impressive. But hydrail runs on existing ordinary tracks with no modification and so orders of magnitude are less costly.'' The East Japan Railway Company rolled out the world's first commercial hydrogen train, replacing the carriage's diesel generator with a fuel cell. The US military is also developing its own hydrail train to use for yard-switching in urban areas with controls on air pollution. - Source

09/01/08 - Could RFID and satellites help fight kidnappers?
The use of microchips to track people (such as those embedded in hospital wristbands) and products (those uncomfortable tags on clothing that have to be cut off prior to wearing) has come under fire from civil rights groups who claim that big corporations are using this technology as a tool for spying. But what about when these tags are embedded in people themselves, rather than the things they wear? That's what Mexican security firm Xega SA, which sells technology for tracking people, wants to do, particularly in cases when people are held for ransom. For about $3,700, the company will implant a chip the size of a grain of rice (it costs another $1,800 per year for monitoring), reports the Telegraph. Although it is unclear where the chip is likely to be implanted in a person's body its customers carry with them a panic button that can be pressed if a person feels he or she is in danger. A transmitter then sends signals via satellite to pinpoint the location of the person in distress, reports. A chip that relies on GPS poses a whole new set of challenges. For one, the chip would need an antenna and radio as well as a battery powerful enough for its signal to reach a satellite network. "I'm skeptical," Want says, "that you could build something that could reach a satellite and yet be small enough to put under your skin." Other problems are more logistical than technical. When the person's captor finds out about the embedded GPS beacon, it would likely be removed in a very painful way and be rendered useless if the captive is moved to a new location. Additionally, sometimes knowing where a captive is being held is only part of the problem... - Source

09/01/08 - The Future will NOT be Nuclear
KeelyNet The government is pinning its hopes on a nuclear renaissance to meet Britain's climate change goals. Planning procedures are being eased and hidden subsidies offered. But the policy is based on a misunderstanding of nuclear power's lousy economics, and will fail. There are only two honest answers to the question of how much it costs to build a nuclear power station. These are "I don't know" and "I'll tell you when I've built it." Everything else is a guess. The government's commitment to new nuclear power stations is based on just such guesses. The cost of a reactor is normally quantified by what it costs to build each kilowatt (kW) of its capacity to generate electricity. To find the cost, you multiply this by the reactor's size—measured in thousands of kW, or megawatts (MW). To this must be added the cost of financing the expenditure. In its January white paper on nuclear energy, the government's worst-case analysis assumed that the construction cost would be £1,625/kW, giving a total cost (based on a reactor size of 2,200MW) of £3.6bn. But in May, the German utility company E.ON estimated the cost at just over £3,000/kW, making the overall cost of a new reactor close to £6.7bn. Other recent guesses range from $4,000/kW (£2,162) early in 2007 to $10,000/kW in January 2008 (£5,000). This certainly looks like "I don't know" to me. No one should doubt the good intentions of those who are arguing for a switch of scarce capital, materials and skills into nuclear power in Britain. It is not their intentions that are in question, but their analysis. We have been here before, with equally serious people arguing that there was no alternative to a nuclear future. - Source

09/01/08 - A Blow to the Oxygen Theory of Extinction
For years, scientists have proposed various hypotheses for why about 90 percent of species living 250 million years ago suddenly died out. Some believe it was a meteor like the one that killed off the dinosaurs 135 million years later. Others have suggested massive volcanic eruptions or dropping ocean levels. One idea that has attracted attention of late is that oxygen thinned precipitously, and animals died out simply because they did not have enough to breathe. But rocks of this era still contain charcoal, which means there was enough oxygen in the air for plants to burn. So Claire Belcher, a biochemist at University College Dublin in Ireland, went into a room-size atmospheric chamber wearing an oxygen suit and spent a few months trying to burn things in low-oxygen air. Paper would not ignite at less than 14 percent oxygen, and even then, “It didn’t burn with a sustained flame,” Dr. Belcher said. A candle would not ignite until oxygen reached a level of 17 percent by volume, and highly flammable pine wood did not burst into flames until oxygen reached 18 percent. Moss would not burn at all at less than 15 percent oxygen and did not really catch fire unless oxygen reached concentrations of 17 percent. Oxygen makes up 21 percent of present-day air. - Source

09/01/08 - Sikorsky X2 Helicopter: At 288mph Is World's Fastest
KeelyNet The X2 is powered by a Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Co (LHTEC) T800 engine and features fly-by-wire controls. Also included are advanced electronics that Sikorsky hopes will counter vibration problems they've had trouble with previously. The 'copter will go through a four-phase test to monitor hover performance and be pushed to its limits in high-speed flight. Could the speed of the X2 make it a popular alternative to commercial passenger jets? 288mph is half the cruising speed of Boeing's 747 which would be fine for short distances, plus the advantages of avoiding airports are obvious and great. - Source

09/01/08 - Video - 'Environmental volunteers' to spy on their neighbours
Advertisements looking for people to sign up for the unpaid "environmental volunteer" jobs have been posted across the country in recent months. Critics said the scheme is encouraging a Big Brother society where friends and neighbours will be encouraged to "snoop" on one another. The recruitment drive follows news that the Home Office is granting police powers to council staff and private security guards, allowing then to hand out fines for low-scale offences and ask for personal details. Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Snooping on your neighbours to report recycling infringements sounds like something straight out of the East German Stasi's copybook. - Source

09/01/08 - Palin Experience Invaluable

KeelyNet

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09/01/08 - Wiggling Plastic at River Bottom to Generate Electricity
Using a grid of electricity-generating smart materials on the bottom of the Kiskiminetas River, combined with a host of energy conservation efforts, Vandergrift hopes to generate between 20 and 40 percent of the city center's electricity. That sustainable power will most likely come from a grid of undulating strips made of polyvinylidene fluoride or PVDF, a material that generates a slight electrical current when it is moved, in this case, by the currents and eddies in the Kiskiminetas River. Such materials are described as piezoelectric, and the resulting electrical current would pass to small substations along the river's edge before charging a group of batteries. "There are other materials that give better performance or have higher energy densities," said Weiland. "But we're willing to sacrifice a little power to keep the ecosystem happy." The Kiskiminetas River, or the Kiski, as it's more informally known, is about 40 yards wide where it passes Vandergrift. Weiland currently plans to lay a grid, 30 yards wide and about a mile long, down on the river bed to help power the city. The exact details about how dense the grid would be, how long the PVDF strips will be, or even when the grid would be laid down, are still being worked out. But whatever the final plans are, the researchers claim they will maintain the health and appearance of the Kiski, which is used for fishing, canoe trips and other recreational activities. Weiland's method likely wouldn't generate as much energy as a hydroelectric dam but would keep the river intact and healthy. If all of those efforts are successful Weiland estimates a PVDF-based smart materials grid could generate as much as 40 percent of the town's power. But the cooperation and motivation of the town are essential to reach that mark, said Weiland. - Source

09/01/08 - Paralysed man walks again thanks to Robocop-style exoskeleton
KeelyNet A man who has been paralysed for the past 20 years is able to walk again thanks to a revolutionary electronic exoskeleton. Radi Kaiof, 41, now walks down the street with a dim mechanical hum as the system moves his legs and propels him forwards. The device, called ReWalk, is the brainchild of engineer Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies, a small Israeli high-tech company. Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by Robocop, ReWalk helps paraplegics - people paralysed below the waist - to stand, walk and climb stairs. The system, which requires crutches to help with balance, consists of motorized leg supports, body sensors and a back pack containing a computerized control box and rechargeable batteries. The user picks a setting with a remote control wrist band - stand, sit, walk, descend or climb - and then leans forward, activating the body sensors and setting the robotic legs in motion. 'It raises people out of their wheelchair and lets them stand up straight,' Goffer said. The ReWalk is now in clinical trials in Tel Aviv's Sheba Medical Centre. It is due to go on sale to the public in 2010 and will cost around £10,000. - Source

09/01/08 - McCain and Obama Answer Science Policy Questionnaires
"A couple months ago, Scientists and Engineers for America, Science Debate 2008, and a bunch of other science organizations sent McCain, Obama, and all the Congressional candidates a bunch of questions on science and technology. Topics included biosecurity, genetics research, and national security, as well as the more common questions on research and education. Well, Senator Obama just answered." Senator McCain has not responded to the questionnaire at this point in time, but the site has a profile of his views and actions relating to science policy, which provides a good basis for comparing the candidates' stances. - McCain and Obama

09/01/08 - Mankind may die under billions of tons of its own garbage
KeelyNet The government of Mexico decided to close the largest landfill in Latin America, Bordo Poniente, located not far from the capital of the country. The landfill is set to be closed in January 2009. The garbage range taking about 1,000 hectares of land became a target for local environment activists long ago. The liquidation of the landfill will mark the end of their long-standing struggle. No one in the world knows what should be done with tens of thousands of tons of garbage, which appear every day. If mankind does not find a revolutionary method to process its own garbage, the consequences will follow during the upcoming several years. Not less than 60 million tons of household garbage have been dumped on Bordo Poniente during 13 years of its existence. The giant landfill comes second after the infamous Plastic Soup in the Pacific Ocean – the floating dump of up to 100 million tons of rubbish which takes about one million of square kilometers. An average person produces not less than 350 kilos of garbage a year. Ten percent of this amount will be burnt, eighty percent will be buried, and the remaining ten percent will be left on the ground surface. Mankind throws out up to 2.1 trillion tons of garbage a year. This figure continues to grow every year. Specialists say that the garbage problem is as serious as the problem of the global warming or nuclear weapons. - Source

09/01/08 - Mammals Have a Nose for Danger (Literally)
A mouse’s nose has a cluster of specialized cells that respond to the chemical signals sent out by fellow mice that are in distress, researchers report, meaning that mice can literally smell fear. A lump of nerve cells in the nose tip called the Grueneberg ganglion responds to the “fear pheromones” of imperiled creatures, sending a signal straight to the brain. As Grueneberg ganglia are known to exist in rodents, cats, apes, and humans, researchers say it’s likely that the cells perform the same function in all mammals. Warning systems that help animals detect a threat to their own species provide a clear boost in survival odds, so researchers say it makes sense that the ganglia evolved early and are present throughout the mammalian family tree. Even certain plants release alarm pheromones to produce bitter and astringent tannins, so they can become less appetizing to hungry animals. In modern life, our own response to alarm pheromones might be hard to notice, but it is entirely possible that we still inadvertently react to their presence. - Source

09/01/08 - Evolution Cannot Explain Left-Handed Molecules
KeelyNet In Nature there are what scientists call right-handed and left-handed amino acids. However, life requires that all proteins be left-handed. So, not only do millions of amino acids have to be in the correct sequence, they also all have to be left-handed. If a right-handed amino acid gets mixed in then the protein molecules won't function. There won't be any life! Similarly, the nucleic acids in DNA and RNA must be in a precise sequence. The sugar molecules that make-up the various nucleic acids in DNA and RNA must be right-handed. If a nucleic acid with a left-handed sugar molecule gets into the mix then nothing will work. - Source

09/01/08 - Organ Age Reversal
Just like us, mice accumulate damage to their cells as they grow old, which eventually leads to toxic protein buildup she calls “garbage.” One of the ways cells keep clean is with the help of internal surveillance systems that detect and clean out this cellular refuse. Cuervo and Zhang have given some of these mice an extra copy of the gene that produces these internal garbage detectors, and in this study, they targeted the cells of the liver. “The most exciting finding is that, when we compare the cells from the young animals to the old animals, we normally find garbage, accumulation of damage, but when we compare this with our animals in which we have added this extra copy of this gene, we found that the cells were clean,” says Cuervo. Cuervo explains that when mice reach middle age, their cells’ cleaning systems start slowing down, so she decided to turn on the extra gene when the mice reached middle age in order to prevent this decline. When the researchers found that the cells were clean they knew they were on the right track, but wanted to see if the cells and the entire liver functioned better. A chief source of cellular protein damage is oxidation, which occurs in all cells of our bodies. The “internal garbage detectors” Cuervo targeted are actually antennae-like structures on organelles called lysosomes, which grab onto damaged proteins and pull them inside the lysosome so they can be broken down and recycled. “Even the typical reactions that you have in your body produce oxidation or damage of proteins, sort of like proteins getting rusty. And your cells eliminate these rusty proteins, and this is what guarantees that your cells work properly and don’t accumulate any kind of garbage,” explains Cuervo. - Source

09/01/08 - Top 5 Gadgets That Could Get You Arrested
Although we'd never condone breaking the law with these five gadgets, we can't deny our morbid fascination with them. Just remember: If misused, these gizmos could get you slapped with a set of handcuffs along with a criminal record. - Source

09/01/08 - Play with the Spider
KeelyNet If you have some free time, run over to this page and tease the spider. It is an excellent interactive flash demonstration. You can grab its leg and drag it around, get close to it and make it backup and it's like the Terminator, Michael Myers, Frankenstein or the Mummy, always coming after you since it never seems to run out of juice. You can also create flies to feed it. - Source

09/01/08 - Experts able to plant false memories in minds
New research into the human memory has found that it is possible to plant false memories in the mind that can have significant long-term effects on behaviour. In a series of studies Dr Elke Geraerts found that it is possible to change long-term behaviours by inducing false memories using a simple suggestive technique. The findings of the food-based study may be used positively to treat conditions such as obesity or aid dieting by using "suggestive therapy". Studies on false memories and beliefs have compellingly shown that misleading information can lead to the creation of recollections of entire events that have not occurred." During a series of experiments the researchers falsely suggested to participants that it was known they had become ill after eating egg salad as a child. A "significant minority" of participants believed this to be true, and even four months after the study were found to avoid egg salad. - Source

09/01/08 - Arctic becomes an island as ice melts
KeelyNet The North Pole has become an island for the first time in human history as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap. The historic development was revealed by satellite images taken last week showing that both the north-west and north-east passages have been opened by melting ice. Shipping companies are already planning to exploit the first simultaneous opening of the routes since the beginning of the last Ice Age 125,000 years ago. The Beluga Group in Germany says it will send the first ship through the north-east passage, around Russia, next year, cutting 4,000 miles off the voyage from Germany to Japan. Meanwhile, Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, has announced that ships entering the north-west passage should first report to his government. The routes have previously opened at different times, with the western route opening last year, and the eastern route opening in 2005. - Source

09/01/08 - Chinese scientists succeded to transform sawdust into biofuel
According to a report in New Scientist, Yuan Kou at Peking University in Beijing, China, and his team have efficiently transformed sawdust into alkanes and alcohols needed for biofuels. The deciding step in process is a lignin breakdown reaction. Lignin contains carbon-oxygen-carbon bonds that link together smaller hydrocarbon chains. Breaking down those C-O-C bonds is the key to unlock the smaller hydrocarbons. The discovery could help to form a second generation of biofuels by breaking down larger plant molecules. So relieving the pressure on corn an sugar cane production, putted in direct competition with food prices. - Source

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

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

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