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Old 10-03-2008, 01:20 PM   #451
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http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...tweak-cou.html

Plant Tweak Could Let Toxic Soil Feed Millions

Thanks to a genetic breakthrough, a large portion of Earth's now-inhospitable soil could be used to grow crops -- potentially alleviating one of the most pressing problems facing the planet's rapidly growing population.

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside made plants tolerant of poisonous aluminum by tweaking a single gene. This may allow crops to thrive in the 40 to 50 percent of Earth's soils currently rendered toxic by the metal.

"Aluminum toxicity is a very limiting factor, especially in developing countries, in South America and Africa and Indonesia," said biochemist Paul Larsen. "It's not like these areas are devoid of plant life, but they're not crop plants. Among agriculturally important plants, there aren't mechanisms for aluminum tolerance."

The planet is rapidly running out of room to grow food, and scientists say that the world's booming population -- expected to swell by half in the next 50 years -- will outstrip food production. There's no more room for farms in the developed world; demand for cropland is fueling deforestation in the rain forests of Latin America and Africa; and the limits of the Green Revolution, which increased global food production through the use of pesticides and industrial farming techniques, have been reached. Another revolution, say agronomists, is needed.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:21 PM   #452
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http://www.wunderkabinett.co.uk/damn...d-control.html

Wednesday, October 1. 2008
Was Sheldrake's stabber a victim of mind control?

Rupert Sheldrake was stabbed by Kazuki Hirano in early April this year and thins have started rolling in preparation for the trial and more information is coming out about the case and it is certainly weird.

The 34-year-old ex-laborer from Yokohama, Japan, has been jailed since April 2 for allegedly stabbing Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist famous for his experiments in mental telepathy.

In telephone conversations, letters and two interviews at the Santa Fe County jail, Hirano has insisted he is a "guinea pig" in Sheldrake's mind-control experiments using "remote mental telepathy."

...

Hirano said he became convinced his thoughts were being controlled four or five years ago when he began to feel hypnotized while he was homeless in the Camden Town district of London. He said a man named "Doctor Tony" in London's Stockwell district told him Sheldrake was conducting experiments in mind control on the homeless. Hirano said he didn't believe this at first but came to accept it after reading about Sheldrake on the Internet. He said he now believes the American military is developing remote mental telepathy to combat terrorism.

Hirano said he quit his "labor job" in Yokohama earlier this year and traveled to Santa Fe to attend the 10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness at La Fonda to ask Sheldrake and others there how to block mental telepathy.

"I'm asking him how to stop telepathy remote," he said. "He is kind of lying to me, and he is laughing and kind of smiling like he looks at me stupid and then walks away."

Hirano said others at the conference advised him to try Tai Chi and other Chinese practices that are "spiritual but not very scientific." He said he suspects no one will tell him how to block mental telepathy because they are making money from the experiments.

The degree to which his mind is controlled varies in intensity, Hirano said. When pressed on whether he still thought mental telepathy was being used on him, he said "probably."

Asked if he stabbed Sheldrake, Hirano avoided a straight answer — apparently aware that he should not admit guilt — but insisted he wasn't thinking about stabbing anyone when he carried a hunting knife into the conference.


So what are the options?

*

The fairly obvious one is that, despite his protestations, he is delusional. This is clearly a decision that has to be left to the professionals to decide but is clearly something we have seen before, where people incorporate real-life (or even fictional) aspects into their fantasy.
*

However, I do wonder how you'd tell the difference between an actual delusion and a wild (but true) conspiracy. It is worth bearing in mind, that the prison shrink has concluded that he isn't schizophrenic, although that isn't admissible in court.

So the trial is set to take place and it will be interesting to see what comes out of that:

A plea bargain that would have freed him from jail and allowed him to be deported to Japan was withdrawn Sept. 12 after Sheldrake told the court in a telephone call from London he is afraid if Hirano is released without psychiatric treatment, he will continue to stalk him. Some have compared the case to the 1980 murder of musician John Lennon by his obsessed fan, Mark David Chapman.

...

State District Judge Michael Vigil ordered Hirano undergo a 60-day psychiatric diagnostic evaluation in Los Lunas. Vigil also set jury selection in a trial on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for Oct. 21, with opening arguments to begin in late October or early November.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #453
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http://www.dailygrail.com/news/christ-the-magician

Renowned marine archaeologist Frank Goddio has unearthed (unwatered?) a controversial object which may link early Christianity to magickal pagan traditions. His team has found a bowl in the waters off Alexandria that is engraved with what they believe "could be the world's first known reference to Christ":

The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted by the excavation team to mean either, "by Christ the magician" or, "the magician by Christ." "It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic," Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.

...Both Goddio and Egyptologist David Fabre, a member of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology, think a "magus" could have practiced fortune telling rituals using the bowl. The Book of Matthew refers to "wisemen," or Magi, believed to have been prevalent in the ancient world.

According to Fabre, the bowl is also very similar to one depicted in two early Egyptian earthenware statuettes that are thought to show a soothsaying ritual.

"It has been known in Mesopotamia probably since the 3rd millennium B.C.," Fabre said. "The soothsayer interprets the forms taken by the oil poured into a cup of water in an interpretation guided by manuals." He added that the individual, or "medium," then goes into a hallucinatory trance when studying the oil in the cup.

The finding is rather speculative at this point though, with the article quoting other scholars with completely different interpretations.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:11 PM   #454
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Originally Posted by amesj523 View Post
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...tweak-cou.html

Plant Tweak Could Let Toxic Soil Feed Millions

Thanks to a genetic breakthrough, a large portion of Earth's now-inhospitable soil could be used to grow crops -- potentially alleviating one of the most pressing problems facing the planet's rapidly growing population.

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside made plants tolerant of poisonous aluminum by tweaking a single gene. This may allow crops to thrive in the 40 to 50 percent of Earth's soils currently rendered toxic by the metal.

"Aluminum toxicity is a very limiting factor, especially in developing countries, in South America and Africa and Indonesia," said biochemist Paul Larsen. "It's not like these areas are devoid of plant life, but they're not crop plants. Among agriculturally important plants, there aren't mechanisms for aluminum tolerance."

The planet is rapidly running out of room to grow food, and scientists say that the world's booming population -- expected to swell by half in the next 50 years -- will outstrip food production. There's no more room for farms in the developed world; demand for cropland is fueling deforestation in the rain forests of Latin America and Africa; and the limits of the Green Revolution, which increased global food production through the use of pesticides and industrial farming techniques, have been reached. Another revolution, say agronomists, is needed.
GMOs are the work of the devil. Or so I have been told.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:58 AM   #455
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GMOs are the work of the devil. Or so I have been told.
I'm torn on the issue....
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:19 AM   #456
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I think it's a last resort kind of development. We have other ways to increase crop production and production area. From what I've heard/read some crops show a very good production with no till farming. A layer of cut grass/hay is placed over the field and protects the seeds. It limits exposer, erosion, and doesn't require the same quantity of pesticides/fertilizers. With some crops it increases production without all the side effects. It doesn't apply to all crops of course but some of the staple crops look promising. Hopefully we'll see a large scale implementation on it somewhere to see how it works.

There's also the buildings for crop growing that I think was mentioned in this thread once. It only makes sense. It can increase crop growing area indefinitely. The only limits are how high and wide you build it. I'm definitely in favor of that idea before we go modifying crops to allow people to cut down more forests.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:23 AM   #457
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Originally Posted by snowspot66 View Post
I think it's a last resort kind of development. We have other ways to increase crop production and production area. From what I've heard/read some crops show a very good production with no till farming. A layer of cut grass/hay is placed over the field and protects the seeds. It limits exposer, erosion, and doesn't require the same quantity of pesticides/fertilizers. With some crops it increases production without all the side effects. It doesn't apply to all crops of course but some of the staple crops look promising. Hopefully we'll see a large scale implementation on it somewhere to see how it works.

There's also the buildings for crop growing that I think was mentioned in this thread once. It only makes sense. It can increase crop growing area indefinitely. The only limits are how high and wide you build it. I'm definitely in favor of that idea before we go modifying crops to allow people to cut down more forests.

I know what you mean, the part of me that opposes GM foods - just i dunno - "doesn't like it".

No more, no less. I just like letting nature do her job.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:45 AM   #458
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http://www.jimdenevan.com/images.htm

“Jim Denevan makes freehand drawings in sand. At low tide on wide beaches Jim searches the shore for a wave tossed stick. After finding a good stick and composing himself in the near and far environment Jim draws– laboring up to 7 hours and walking as many as 30 miles. The resulting sand drawing is made entirely freehand w/ no measuring aids whatsoever. From the ground, these drawn environments are experienced as places. Places to explore and be, and to see relation and distance. For a time these tangible specific places exist in the indeterminate environment of ocean shore. From high above the marks are seen as isolated phenomena, much like clouds, rivers or buildings. Soon after Jim’s motions and marks are completed water moves over and through, leaving nothing.

In 2005 Jim Denevan had his museum debut the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. Also in 2005 Jim Denevan’s work was shown at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California. In the summer of 2007, Jim had a show at PS1/MOMA in New York City. Jim’s work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Elle, GQ, The Surfers Journal, and Outside, as well as in many other national and international publications.”
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:46 AM   #459
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http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=95256794

“Don’t believe the multitasking hype, scientists say. New research shows that we humans aren’t as good as we think we are at doing several things at once. But it also highlights a human skill that gave us an evolutionary edge. As technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger. But researchers say it’s still a myth — and they have the data to prove it.

Humans, they say, don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly. A case example, researchers say, is a group of people who focus not on a BlackBerry but on a blueberry — as in pancakes.

Diner Cook: A Task Master:

To make it as a short-order cook, you must be able to keep a half-dozen orders in your head while cracking eggs, flipping pancakes, working the counter, and refilling coffee cups. And at a restaurant like the Tastee Diner, in Bethesda, Md., the orders come in verbally, not on a ticket. Chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled with sausage, order of french fries, rye toast — they’re small tasks. On a busy day, though, they add up to a tough job for Shawn Swinson. “My first month here, I was ready to walk out the door,” he said. Asked what it feels like when he’s in the middle of rush hour, Swinson said, “Like you’re in an insane asylum. It’s almost unbearable.”

“It’s singularly the most difficult job in this type of operation,” Long said. “Four cooks. Five waitresses. Bus staff. Host. Getting them in and out.” Speed and accuracy are at a premium — especially when the customers are multitasking, too. Lunchtime is the worst, Long said. “People may have an errand to run. Maybe go to the bank and pick up dry cleaning, and eat. All within an hour, whatever time they have.” It’s all part of life these days. We answer e-mails while yapping on the phone. We schedule appointments while driving and listening to the radio. And it seems as if we’re focusing on all these tasks simultaneously, as if we’ve become true masters of doing 10 things at once. But, brain researchers say, that’s not really the case.”
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:57 AM   #460
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...reativity.html

The 'thinking cap' that could unlock your inner genius and boost creativity

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Old 10-06-2008, 08:02 AM   #461
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7649970.stm

'Illusions driving market havoc'

The mind naturally creates illusions and superstitions at times of stress - and this could be adding to the global financial crisis, say scientists.


http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...f-clovers.html

Loss of control may leave us looking for four-leaf clovers

In a series of six experiments, Whitson and Galinsky attempted to directly correlate lack of control with illusory perceptions. In the first two, they were able to establish that participants will seek patterns to compensate for unmanageable conditions. To simulate lack-of-control circumstances, they gave volunteers random feedback that was unrelated to their responses. Participants lacking control saw more nonexistent images in pictures and scored higher on the Personal Need for Structure Scale than those who were not treated to random feedback.

Superstitions and good luck rituals may also result from the human need for control. Whitson and Galinsky presented participants three scenarios that each contained two unconnected events, like "knocking on wood before an important meeting and getting one's idea approved." Participants who were asked to remember uncontrolled situations from the past saw more connection between the unrelated events and thought that good luck actions were important in the future.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:04 AM   #462
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New surveillance program will turn military satellites on US

By Julian Sanchez | Published: October 05, 2008 - 07:15PM CT

An appropriations bill signed by President Bush last week allows the controversial National Applications Office to begin operating a stringently limited version of a program that would turn military spy satellites on the US, sharing imagery with other federal, state, and local government agencies. The government's own watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, has warned in an unpublished report that the more expansive program in the offing lacks adequate safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties.

For now, the law restricts the NAO to "activities substantially similar" to those carried out by the Civil Applications Committee, an interagency coordinating body formed in 1976 to give civilian agencies access to military satellites for scientific and disaster preparedness purposes, such as "monitoring volcanic activity, environmental and geological changes, hurricanes, and floods." But as a draft charter for the Office makes clear, officials at the Department of Homeland Security hope to branch out from these traditional applications, providing assistance and information to domestic law enforcement agencies.

That doesn't sit well with some members of Congess, who in a sharply worded letter earlier this year expressed concerns that the NAO "raises major issues under the Posse Comitatus Act" barring the military from performing law enforcement duties, and worried the program could be used to "gather domestic intelligence outside the rigorous protections of the law—and, ultimately, to share this intelligence with local law enforcement outside of constitutional parameters."

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Old 10-06-2008, 01:03 PM   #463
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http://www.thememoryhole.org/2008/07...mbedded-media/

Pentagon documents on embedded media

By Russ Kick at 24 July, 2008, 7:18 pm

On a subpage of their Freedom of Info Act website, the Defense Department today has posted 127 pages of documents concerning embedded media. The file may be downloaded here:
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:06 PM   #464
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http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Blog/?p=603

Flashback: CFR “Gamed” Economic Implosion in 2000

Kurt Nimmo - October 3, 2008

Back in 2000, before “everything changed,” the Council on Foreign Relations held a conference entitled “The Next Financial Crisis: Warning Signs, Damage Control and Impact” at its posh headquarters on Manhattan. “For two days, several speakers told a high-powered audience of 250 people, comprised largely of bankers, investors, corporation officials, and policymakers, mostly from the United States, but also from Europe, of the possibility that the U.S. stock market, and potentially the world financial system, would melt down,” Richard Freeman wrote in the July 28, 2000, issue of the Executive Intelligence Review.

At the time, the corporate media was heralding the alleged robust nature of the U.S. economy under Clinton, even as the so-called Dotcom bubble was deflating. Obviously, the CFR knew something very few other people knew or even vaguely gleamed — the global elite were in the preparatory stages of imploding the economy.

The CFR’s eight hour “war-game simulation of the simultaneous breakdown of major financial markets around the world” foresaw what we are now experiencing up close and personal. The CFR’s game closely paralleled what is going on now. Freeman writes…

Full story
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:52 AM   #465
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http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=10&cs=1

Political season hits its peak
Polarizing films play big at box office
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:54 AM   #466
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http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbus...tea_party.html

Time for another tea party

Why are Americans passively accepting the greatest tax rip-off of all time?


In 1773 a mob of American colonists famously dumped crates of tea belonging to the British East India Company into Boston harbor. It was a direct action by citizens against the tax regime of the British government, and just one of several incidents that ultimately led to the Revolutionary War.

More than two-hundred years later Americans still notoriously abominate taxes. They hate taxes so much that they deny themselves a privilege taken for granted by every other civilized nation on earth, namely, universal healthcare.

So how can they just sit quietly by as the greatest tax rip-off of all time is inflicted on them?

The $700,000,000,000 bailout package approved by the senate yesterday will place a tax burden of several thousand dollars on every man, woman, and child in the U.S. and that’s on top of the huge debt they already bear. It is a burden that exceeds by an order of magnitude the burden that the British tried to place on the American colonists after the Seven Year’s War. More significantly, it is the result not of justifiable expenditure, but of corruption at the highest levels.

Yet all is quiet. No protests in the streets, no angry mobs, no latter-day Boston Tea Partiers tarring and feathering the crooked politicians and bankers who made it all possible.

Exactly what do you have to do to people in the twenty-first century to provoke direct action?


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Old 10-07-2008, 09:12 AM   #467
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Exactly what do you have to do to people in the twenty-first century to provoke direct action?
Take away their TV and air conditioning.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:52 AM   #468
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Take away their TV and air conditioning.
no ****....
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:03 AM   #469
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http://www.disinfo.com/content/story...-Portions-Week

Meat Must Be Rationed To Four Portions A Week
Avatar http://www.guardian.co.uk
Posted by majestic 6 days ago View profile
People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.

It urges people to return to habits their mothers or grandmothers would have been familiar with: buying locally in-season products, cooking in bulk and in pots with lids or pressure cookers, avoiding waste and walking to the shops - alongside more modern tips such as using the microwave and internet shopping.

The report goes much further than any previous advice after mounting concern about the impact of the livestock industry on greenhouse gases and rising food prices. It follows a four-year study of the impact of food on climate change and is thought to be the most thorough study of its kind.

Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:50 AM   #470
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1
Awareness contracts to focus,
They say it's not hocus pocus,
To them it is just a thought.
Through invisible incantation,
Matter dances to mentation,
The conscious rewrites the Points.
But quickly they lose their way,
Emotion and thought carry them astray,
While the birds scream Attention! Attention!
They take note but never remember,
"Stay strong and never surrender!"
The fools never realise "I am."

2
Though their words sound the same,
Each speaks from a different plane,
They talk through entities.
Symbolic in nature,
But disloyal to creator,
They have a life of their own.
Gaze them at length,
And territory looses strength,
The entity is only the vessel.
Choosing menu not meal,
They all stand and squeal.
Fighting for map over chest.

3
Aware and yet sleeping,
No wonder they're weeping,
They believe they are one and the same.
Yet many possess them,
Command and digest them!,
'Til all awareness is gone.
They plot under clouds,
Still "owner" stands proud,
Fragmented, he is a legion.
Hi-jacked he does not see,
He believes them to be "me,"
Truly, a thief is at work.


4
Through all this toil and pain,
Pray tell; where is the gain?
A bucket of rotten fruit!
Seek yoga not blame,
They all say the same!
Change is always the start.
So come, transformation,
From mere mentation,
To the quality of a Willed Art.
They stand struck by awe,
The Law is for All,
In lust, the magicians rejoice!
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #471
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,433762,00.html

A plane forced to land in Iran after it accidentally entered Iranian airspace was a Hungarian aid plane, and not a U.S. aircraft as originally reported Tuesday by a state news agency, FOX News confirmed.

The semi-official Fars news agency in Iran reported Tuesday that a U.S. Military plane with American personnel on board was forced to land there.

But the U.S. Defense Department told FOX News that there was no evidence that the Iranian reports were true and was looking into the incident.

"We're looking into the various and conflicting reports coming from the Iranian "news" agencies, but do not have any information at this time that would lead us to believe they are correct," National Security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"The Iran news agency is sending mixed signals," White House press secretary Dana Perino added. "There was no U.S. aircraft involved."

Iran also denied the reports.

The aircraft was a Hungarian aid plane with no Americans on board, a senior Iranian official told FOX News' Amy Kellogg in Tehran, adding that the incident took place on Sept. 30.


------------------


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...ne-465436.html

George Bush considered provoking a war with Saddam Hussein's regime by flying a United States spyplane over Iraq bearing UN colours, enticing the Iraqis to take a shot at it, according to a leaked memo of a meeting between the US President and Tony Blair.

The two leaders were worried by the lack of hard evidence that Saddam Hussein had broken UN resolutions, though privately they were convinced that he had. According to the memorandum, Mr Bush said: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

He added: "It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam's WMD, and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated." The memo damningly suggests the decision to invade Iraq had already been made when Mr Blair and the US President met in Washington on 31 January 2003 ­ when the British Government was still working on obtaining a second UN resolution to legitimise the conflict.


________


I'm just asking everyone be very careful about what we "hear"
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:53 PM   #472
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http://steelguru.com/news/index/2008..._-_Report.html

Solar paint on steel could generate renewable energy - Report

It is reported that, in three years, buildings covered in steel sheets could be generating large amounts of solar electricity, thanks to a new photovoltaic paint that is being developed in a commercial partnership between UK university researchers and the steel industry.

As per report, these new solar cells also have the advantage of being able to absorb across the visible spectrum. That makes them more efficient at capturing low radiation light than conventional solar cells, and so well suited to the British climate with its many cloudy days.

The photovoltaic paint is made up of a layer of dye and a layer of electrolytes and can be applied as a liquid paste. Altogether, the sheets of steel get four coats of solar paint namely an undercoat, a layer of dye-sensitized solar cells, a layer of electrolyte or titanium dioxide as white paint pigment and, finally, a protective film. The paste is applied to steel sheets when they are passed through the rollers during the manufacturing process. The four layers of the solar cell system are built up one after the other in rapid succession.

Light hits the dye sensitized solar cells, exciting the molecules that act as a light absorber or sensitizer. The excited molecules release an electron into the nanocrystalline titanium dioxide layer, which acts as an electron collector and a circuit. The electrons finally move back into the dye, attracted by positively charged iodide particles in a liquid electrolyte. The solar electricity that the area covered with paint generates is collected and provides power for whatever application it is connected to.

A laboratory built to develop the new solar technology that replicates plant's photosynthesis is due to start work on October 30th 2008 in Shotton, North Wales.

Mr Steve Fisher spokesperson of the Corus Group, that is believed to be pouring tens of millions of euros into the venture, said that "If the solar cell paint can be successfully brought to the market, it could spell big changes when it comes to the future production of electricity."

Mr Stephen Fisher said that Corus was developing the photovoltaic paint as part of its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He added that "Although typical CO2 emissions per tonne of steel are now around 50% lower than they were 40 years ago, the steel industry is still a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions. We invest significant amounts every year reducing the environmental impact of our processes and work hard to ensure we continuously improve our performance beyond mere compliance."
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #473
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122333514249409481.html

FCC Launches Inquiry Over Iraq War Coverage

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators have launched an inquiry into whether broadcast networks and military analysts violated federal sponsorship identification rules as a result of an effort by the Pentagon to increase favorable news coverage of the Iraq war.

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission sent letters to people mentioned in an April New York Times investigation of military analysts who received private briefings by senior Pentagon and White House officials and taken on tours of Iraq in exchange for more favorable commentary on the status of the war.

An FCC spokesman confirmed the agency's enforcement bureau recently sent letters asking for more information from the analysts. He declined to comment on the number of letters sent or provide other information about the inquiry, citing agency rules that bar FCC officials from commenting on open investigations.

The letters were sent five months after a May 6 letter from Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.), which asked the agency to investigate whether the analysts and the broadcast networks that employed them may have violated federal sponsorship identification rules.

The FCC's letters were first disclosed by U.S. News & World Report. A spokeswoman for Mr. Dingell said he never received a response to the May letter and wasn't aware that the FCC had launched an inquiry into the issue.

The FCC's rules prohibit broadcasters and employees who prepare shows from accepting money, goods or services in exchange for on-air promotion without disclosing that arrangement to viewers or listeners.

Radio broadcasters have mostly run afoul of the FCC's payola rules over the years, but last October, the agency proposed combined fines of $76,000 to two broadcast companies for not telling viewers that columnist Armstrong Williams had received money from the Department of Education in exchange for promoting the No Child Left Behind Act on his shows and other programs.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:46 AM   #474
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...c&refer=europe

'Broken Symmetry' of Particles Yields Physics Nobel (Update4)

By Frances Schwartzkopff

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- An American and two Japanese physicists shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for showing how subatomic particles that are supposed to act similarly sometimes don't, leading to a better explanation of how the universe was formed and helping to identify new particles.

The winners were American Yoichiro Nambu, 87, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute; Makoto Kobayashi, 64, who works at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan; and Toshihide Maskawa, 68, of Kyoto University.

The three scientists helped define the concept of ``broken symmetry,'' influencing the standard model used by physicists to describe interactions between the tiniest particles in the universe, the Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation said. Kobayashi and Maskawa helped explain the origin of broken symmetry, while Nambu discovered how it works, the foundation said.

``The standard model relies on this mechanism,'' said Ties Behnke, a senior scientist at the Deutsches Elektronen- Synchrotron, a research center in Hamburg, in a telephone interview. ``Without it, the model couldn't explain our observations.''

A piece of matter may be like a set table in which each particle, in choosing a direction to spin, is represented by a dinner guest who must choose whether to use a bread plate to the left or the right. Spontaneous broken symmetry occurs when one guest uses the dishes only to one side, and the rest of the guests follow suit, Behnke said.

Forming the Universe

The theory helps to explain how the universe was formed, the Nobel Foundation said. The Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter that canceled each other out under the fundamental law of symmetry. Instead, the tiniest building blocks of the universe somehow bucked the laws, leading to the creation of more matter than antimatter.

Nambu, in 1960, was the first to apply the theory of spontaneous broken symmetry, already used to describe how magnetism works, to elementary particles.

He successfully explained why particles known as quarks can't float freely outside of protons and, in the process, proved the validity of applying the idea to the field. His mathematical theories now permeate the so-called standard model of quarks and leptons, the building blocks of atoms, and the forces that govern them.

Nambu's Work

Nambu's ``work was the basis for a series of developments that led to the construction of the standard model,'' said Sheldon Glashow, a Boston University professor who won the 1979 Nobel for physics. ``It really contributed to our understanding of physics in many domains.''

Nambu came to the U.S. from Japan in 1952, to the Institute for Advanced Study, the Princeton, New Jersey, research center where Albert Einstein had been a faculty member until his death in 1955. Nambu joined the University of Chicago as a research associate in 1956 and has been a professor emeritus since 1991. He became a U.S. citizen in 1970.

``It was a surprise, I didn't expect it,'' Nambu said today during a press briefing. ``My wife didn't believe it for 30 minutes.''

Kobayashi and Maskawa studied other subatomic deviations from the law of symmetry, applying the theory to the Big Bang and correctly predicting in 1972 that an undiscovered, third family of quarks existed.

Matter and Anti-Matter

``This work explains there is a small flaw in the symmetry between matter and anti-matter, that they're not perfect mirror images of each other,'' said Andy Parker, a professor of high energy physics at Cambridge University, in a telephone interview. ``The world could have been made entirely of antimatter if the symmetry had been the other way. This tells us that there is a real difference.''

Using the world's biggest magnetic loop, physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research aim to identify that difference, Parker said. The project is among four experiments that scientists will conduct using the Large Hadron Collider. The 27-kilometer long (16 mile) magnetic loop will seek to generate conditions similar to what happened one thousandth of a millionth of a second after the start of time.

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was the first to receive the Nobel Prize for physics, in 1901, after discovering X-rays. Last year's prize went to Albert Fert of France and Peter Gruenberg of Germany for their independent discovery of giant magnetoresistance, a technology that has made it possible to miniaturize hard disks for computers and music players.

Prize for Medicine

France's Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier and German virologist Harald zur Hausen yesterday received the Nobel Prize for medicine for identifying viruses that cause AIDS and cervical cancer.

The Nobel Foundation awards the prizes each year for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature, to as many as three people in each category. Each prize comes this year with an award of 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.4 million.)

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895, stipulating in his will that most of his estate be invested and the proceeds awarded annually to people who have ``conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.'' Nobel died in 1896, and the foundation granted the first awards in 1901.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frances Schwartzkopff in Copenhagen at fschwartzkop@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: October 7, 2008 15:56 EDT
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:48 AM   #475
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Engineers long have known that great ideas can be lifted from Mother Nature, but a new paper* by researchers at Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) takes it to a cellular level. Applying modern engineering design tools to one of the basic units of life, they argue that artificial cells could be built that not only replicate the electrical behavior of electric eel cells but in fact improve on them. Artificial versions of the eel’s electricity generating cells could be developed as a power source for medical implants and other tiny devices, they say.

The paper, according to NIST engineer David LaVan, is an example of the relatively new field of systems biology. “Do we understand how a cell produces electricity well enough to design one—and to optimize that design?” he asks.

Electric eels channel the output of thousands of specialized cells called electrocytes to generate electric potentials of up to 600 volts, according to biologists. The mechanism is similar to nerve cells. The arrival of a chemical signal triggers the opening of highly selective channels in a cell membrane causing sodium ions to flow in and potassium ions to flow out. The ion swap increases the voltage across the membrane, which causes even more channels to open. Past a certain point the process becomes self-perpetuating, resulting in an electric pulse traveling through the cell. The channels then close and alternate paths open to “pump” the ions back to their initial concentrations during a “resting” state.

In all, according LaVan, there are at least seven different types of channels, each with several possible variables to tweak, such as their density in the membrane. Nerve cells, which move information rather than energy, can fire rapidly but with relatively little power. Electrocytes have a slower cycle, but deliver more power for longer periods. LaVan and partner Jian Xu developed a complex numerical model to represent the conversion of ion concentrations to electrical impulses and tested it against previously published data on electrocytes and nerve cells to verify its accuracy. Then they considered how to optimize the system to maximize power output by changing the overall mix of channel types.

Their calculations show that substantial improvements are possible. One design for an artificial cell generates more than 40 percent more energy in a single pulse than a natural electrocyte. Another would produce peak power outputs over 28 percent higher. In principle, say the authors, stacked layers of artificial cells in a cube slightly over 4 mm on a side are capable of producing continuous power output of about 300 microwatts to drive small implant devices. The individual components of such artificial cells—including a pair of artificial membranes separated by an insulated partition and ion channels that could be created by engineering proteins—already have been demonstrated by other researchers. Like the natural counterpart, the cell’s energy source would be adenosine triphosphate (ATP), synthesized from the body’s sugars and fats using tailored bacteria or mitochondria.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-moe100208.php
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