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Old 01-05-2009, 06:25 AM   #1301
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Rising Desperation as China’s Exports Drop
January 2nd, 2009

Maybe the Fed will bailout China? Oh, hmm, uhh… Wait, it’s supposed to be the other way around.

Via: IHT:

At the docks here, the stacks of shipping containers that used to loom above the highway overpass are gone. Logistics managers say they negotiate deeper discounts every week on ships that are leaving half empty.

In nearby Guangdong Province, so many factories are closing without paying employees that some workers are resigning pre-emptively and demanding immediate pay before their employers go bankrupt.

In Sichuan and other interior provinces, municipal officials are desperately searching for ways to provide jobs for millions of out-of-work migrant laborers whose families no longer need them for farming.

Those are the effects of millions of Americans’ cutting their spending.

American retailers, after suffering a dismal holiday shopping season, are delaying payment for Chinese goods 90 or even 120 days after shipping, in contrast to the usual 30 to 45 days, requiring their suppliers to try to borrow more money to cover the difference. Some Chinese suppliers who cannot raise the money - many already operate on thin margins - are going out of business.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:51 AM   #1302
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:53 AM   #1303
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #1304
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http://www.wunderkabinett.co.uk/damn...r-of-Time.html

The Chronophage: Demonic Eater of Time

Professor Stephen Hawking has unveiled a spectacular clock at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge - the Corpus Clock (more evocatively named the Chronophage - the eater of time) is a $1.8 wonder of a timepiece.

The video is an excellent examination of this wonderful beast all presented by its creator, John Taylor, in a very polite and understated manner (so reminiscent of the old Open University videos):



Here is some more background:

The masterpiece, introduced by famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking, challenges all preconceptions about telling time. It has no hands or digital numbers and it is specially designed to run in erratic fashion, slowing down and speeding up from time to time.

Inventor John Taylor used his own money to build the clock as a tribute to John Harrison, the Englishman who in 1725 invented the grasshopper escapement, a mechanical device that helps regulate a clock's movement.

Making a visual pun on the grasshopper image, Taylor created a demonic version of the insect to top of the gold-plated clock face where it devours time.


However, don't get distracted by the splendour it touches on the big themes:

Taylor said he also hopes the clock will remind people of their own mortality.

Rather than having it toll the hour by a bell or a cuckoo, the clock relies on the clanking of a chain that falls into a coffin, which then loudly bangs closed.

"I'm in my early 70s and I realize that time is a destroyer," Taylor said in a telephone interview. "When you're a young person you think there is plenty of time.

"The sound was to remind me of my mortality."


So there you are - it is really eating your life away. You'd better do whatever it is you've been putting off all this time, as you never know when a demonic grasshopper could appear and tell you your time is up!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:48 AM   #1305
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Orange Drinks with 300 Times More Pesticide than Tap Water
January 5th, 2009

Don’t forget that the sodium benzoate in these drinks causes severe damage to mitochondria.

Via: Daily Mail:

Fizzy drinks sold by Coca-Cola in Britain have been found to contain pesticides at up to 300 times the level allowed in tap or bottled water.

A worldwide study found pesticide levels in orange and lemon drinks sold under the Fanta brand, which is popular with children, were at their highest in the UK.

The research team called on the Government, the industry and the company to act to remove the chemicals and called for new safety standards to regulate the soft drinks market.

The industry denies children are at risk and insists that the levels found by researchers based at the University of Jaen in southern Spain are not harmful.

The researchers tested 102 cans and bottles of soft drinks, bought from 15 countries, for the presence of 100 pesticides. The UK products were bought in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and at Gatwick Airport.

The experts said the levels found were low under the maximum residue levels allowed for fruit, but they were ‘very high’ and ‘up to 300 times’ the figure permitted for bottled or tap water.

The chemicals detected included carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil, prochloraz, malathion and iprodione. They are mainly applied to fruit after harvest to stop it developing fungal infections and rotting.

A total of 19 products were bought in the UK, all made by Coca-Cola.

Two orange drinks bought in the UK contained imazalil at 300 times the limit permitted for a single pesticide in drinking water.

Two similar products contained 98 times the legal drinking water limit for thiabendazole.

The average level of the total pesticide contamination of the British drinks was 17.4 parts per billion - 34.6 times the EU maximum residue level for water.

Coca-Cola GB insisted the products are safe. A spokesman said: ‘All of the drinks tested meet the safety regulations relating to food products made from agricultural ingredients, which include drinks with fruit juice as an ingredient.

‘The generally miniscule levels that were detected were well within the acceptable daily intake levels and these findings should reassure consumers there is no safety issue here.’
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:58 AM   #1306
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TOYOTA WILL HALT ALL PRODUCTION IN JAPAN FOR ELEVEN DAYS
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #1307
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IT Job Prospects Make Dot Com Crash Seem Like a Cake Walk
January 6th, 2009

Via: Register:

Compared to the current job market, IT professionals should recall the collapse of the dot-com bubble with a fondness for the good ol’ days.

That’s according to the latest bi-annual IT salary survey from management consultant Janco Associates, which has painted a dreary picture for tech workers. The firm called current conditions “a perfect storm” of company closures, layoffs, cost cutting, outsourcing, and retirees returning to work. That massive surplus of IT talent is matched by what the firm reckons is the lowest hiring demand it has observed in the 15 plus years it’s conducted the salary survey.

The study said that extensive layoffs, cost-cutting and hiring freezes have eliminated higher-priced positions, and in some cases lowered wages.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #1308
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China Seen Facing Wave of Unrest in 2009
January 6th, 2009

Via: Reuters:

China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.

The unusually stark report in this week’s Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said faltering growth could spark anger among millions of migrant workers and university graduates left jobless.

“Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,” a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.”

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a “harmonious society,” but his promise is being tested by rising tension over shrinking jobs and incomes, as well as long-standing anger over corruption and land seizures.

China also faces a year of politically tense anniversaries, especially the 20th year since the June 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. That date has already galvanised the “Charter 08″ campaign by dissidents and advocates demanding deep democratic reforms.

While foreign commentary about risks to China’s recipe of fast economic growth and one-party control are common, the nation’s leaders are usually reticent about such threats.

This report and other recent open warnings may be intended to help snap officials to attention, said one Chinese expert.

“The candor about these problems reflects the severity of the unemployment problem. It’s meant to attract the attention of all levels of government,” said Mao Shoulong, a professor of public policy at Renmin University in Beijing.

“The government wants to show that stability is at the top of its agenda.”

JOBLESS AND BITTER

The biggest threats to China’s social fabric will come from graduating university students, facing a shrinking job market and diminished incomes, and from a tide of migrant laborers who have lost their jobs as export-driven factories have shut.

Factory closures, sackings and difficulties paying social security had already unleashed a surge of protests, the report said. Officials in provinces that have provided tens of millions of low-paid workers for coastal factories have reported a leap in the number returning to their farm homes without work.

State statistical authorities estimated that close to 10 million rural migrant workers had lost their jobs, the magazine said, without specifying when the sackings happened.

Including students who graduated in 2008 and had not found work, there would be more than 7 million university and college graduates hunting for jobs this year, Huang calculated.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:00 AM   #1309
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More Americans Getting Multiple Chronic Illnesses
January 6th, 2009

Via: Reuters:

More Americans are burdened by chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, often having more than three at a time, and this has helped fuel a big rise in out-of-pocket medical expenses, a study released on Tuesday showed.

With prescription drugs playing a key role, average annual out-of-pocket medical costs — those not covered by health insurance — rose from $427 per American in 1996 to $741 in 2005, researchers wrote in the journal Health Affairs.



Based on government survey data, 44 percent of Americans in 2005 had at least one chronic medical condition, which could include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cancer, arthritis, heart failure and others. That compares to 41 percent in 1996.

The study did not look directly at the causes of the increases, but there appear to be several factors.

The rise in Americans with multiple chronic illnesses comes as obesity and sedentary lifestyles have grown more common. Obesity contributes to many chronic ailments including diabetes. U.S. health officials say the rate of new cases of diabetes soared by about 90 percent in the past decade.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:01 AM   #1310
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And Now: The Terrorist Insect
January 6th, 2009

Via: Telegraph:

Terrorists would find it “relatively easy” to launch a devastating attack using swarms of insects to spread a deadly disease, an academic has warned.

Jeffrey Lockwood, professor of entomology at Wyoming University and author of Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War, said such Rift Valley Fever or other diseases could be transported into a country by a terrorist with a suitcase.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think a small terrorist cell could very easily develop an insect-based weapon.”

He said it would “probably be much easier” than developing a nuclear or chemical weapon, arguing: “The raw material is in the back yard.”

He continued: “It would be a relatively easy and simple process.

“A few hundred dollars and a plane ticket and you could have a pretty good stab at it.”

Governments, he advised, needed to have robust “pest management infrastructure that’s able to absorb and respond to an introduction” of infected insects, he said.

Trying to stop everything coming in at the border would not work, he said.

Rift Valley Fever is an east African disease which “can cause severe disease in both animals and humans, leading to high rates of disease and death” according to the World Health Organisation.

However, WHO says that “the vast majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals.”
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:02 AM   #1311
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:52 AM   #1312
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http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/20...and-bundy.html

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Toole, Jonestown and Bundy?
What does Ottis Toole have to do with Jonestown, Ted Bundy, and Satanists? Or with the name "wood" and the Tescumseh Curse? A little or a lot? Who knows?

A press conference was held in Hollywood, Florida, on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, to close the Adam Walsh case. As you will recall, the six year old Adam was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981. Adam's mother, Revé, had left him playing in a video game section of the store with older boys. When she returned, he was gone. Adam's severed head was found in a Vero Beach, Florida, canal on August 10, 1981.

At the news conference today, the murder was blamed on serial killer Ottis Elwood Toole (March 5, 1947 – September 15, 1996). Toole had confessed and withdrawn his confession to the Walsh twice each, and did the same kinds of confessing and recanting with other killings throughout his life.

For more on the initial Adam Walsh "Case Closed" report, see here. For more on the questions being raised, days later, see here.

Ottis Elwood Toole has a bizarre history, including these quick tidbits from Wikipedia and other sources:

1) His father's name was Elwood Toole;
2) Ottis Toole claimed his mother was a religious fanatic who often abused him and dressed him in girl's clothing;
3) Toole's maternal grandmother was a satanist who exposed him to various satanic practices and rituals in his youth and gave him the nickname "Devil's Child";
4) In 1976, Toole met serial killer Henry Lee Lucas* (August 23, 1936 – March 13, 2001) while working at a soup kitchen in Jacksonville and they reportedly became lovers; [*Lucas also had been dressed as a girl as a child, Lucas at one time lived in Tecumseh, Michigan, Lucas claimed to have delivered poison to cult leader Jim Jones in Jonestown prior to the notorious mass murder/suicide of Jones's group, & Lucas's sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush. Lucas's was the only death penalty case among the 153 that came across Bush's desk in his tenure as Texas Governor in which he intervened and commuted the death sentence.]
5) Toole and Lucas claimed to have committed hundreds of murders, sometimes at the behest of a secret cult called "The Hand of Death Cult";
6) Toole briefly shared a cell with serial killer Theodore Robert Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) in Florida's Raiford Prison, according to Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=299036

From Court TV:

Of all the claims of violent behavior Lucas and Toole have made to police, none is more outrageous then their story of a strange religious cult that they were asked to join. Supposedly, while on one of their murderous sprees, Henry and Ottis were approached by a stranger who offered the men the job of delivering stolen cars to various destinations. Lucas wasn’t impressed and declined the offer, as he was afraid that it would increase their chances of being caught by police. The stranger then made another offer. He asked if they would be interested in "contract" killing on behalf of his "organization."

He told them that they would be paid $10,000 for each "execution." Lucas and Toole were interested. They figured that since they’d been killing for fun, they might as well get paid for it. The stranger said that they would be hired on one condition.

"You have to join our religion, and once you join, there is only one way out," he told them.

"What kind of religion," Lucas asked.

"It’s called, "The Hand of Death," the stranger replied. "We worship the devil."

"...Also included in the CIA rogue's gallery of distinguished alumni, according to a number of researchers, is Lucas' self-described "close friend," the notorious Jim Jones. What then are we to make of Henry's professed connection to the tragic People's Temple? It has been documented by numerous investigators that the Jonestown massacre was not by any means a case of mass suicide, as was reported by the U.S. press. It was in fact a case of mass murder. The Guyanese coroner, Dr. C. Leslie Mootoo, concluded that only three of the 913 victims at Jonestown died by means of suicide on that fateful day. All of the rest were executed, some by lethal injection, some by strangulation, and some simply shot through the head.

It is apparent then that if Lucas was in fact at Jonestown at the time of the mass murder, he was quite likely doing considerably more than just serving as a delivery boy. A man of Henry's talents would bean invaluable asset in a clean-up operation of this type. And what was being cleaned up was, of course, yet another MK-ULTRA project, complete with vast stockpiles of drugs, sensory deprivation equipment, and a band of zombie-like assassins who gunned down Congressman Leo Ryan's entourage just prior to the massacre (thus necessitating the clean-up operation.)

Strange that Henry would claim a connection to a man whose operation was notable primarily for being a breeding ground for mind control and mass murder. Of course Henry, being uneducated and illiterate, would not likely have had access to this information.

Even if Henry was literate, he would not have known the story that Maury Terry was to later tell in his book, The Ultimate Evil. Told therein is a tale that chillingly parallels that of Henry and Ottis. What Terry revealed was that the murders attributed to the Son of Sam, the Manson Family, and numerous other interconnected killings (including possibly the Zodiac murders) were not what they appeared to be.

While these killings appeared to be the random work of serial/mass murderers, they actually were contract hits carried out for specific purposes by an interlocking network of Satanic cults (this book has, by the way, recently been reprinted by Barnes & Noble - go figure - and is highly recommended to anyone who questions the plausibility of Henry's story.) In other words, these were professional hits orchestrated and disguised to look like the work of yet another 'lone nut' serial killer. Which is, of course, exactly what Henry claimed his crimes to be, several years before investigative journalist Terry published his convincingly documented work.

Lucas' story then, as bizarre as it may appear to be, is certainly not without precedent. Other events that have transpired since Henry first began telling his tales of The Hand of Death lend further credence to various aspects of his story. For example, there is the issue of the cult-run ranch just south of the border. While this may have sounded rather far-fetched back in the early 1980's, it certainly doesn't today. In 1990, just such a ranch was excavated in Matamoros, Mexico, yielding the remains of over a dozen ritual sacrifice victims. While Ottis Toole - still alive at the time - noted that this was not the specific ranch with which he and Henry were associated, he also mentioned that there were numerous such operations in the area.

So closely did the Matamoros case parallel the stories told years before by Lucas that some law enforcement personnel in Texas chose to take a closer look at Henry's professed cult connections. In fact, Jim Boutwell, sheriff of Williamson County, Texas later told a reporter that investigators had verified that Lucas was indeed involved in cult activities. And a decade later, yet another excavation was begun, this time at a ranch near Juarez, Mexico, which is precisely where Henry claimed it to be. This story made a brief appearance in the American press in December of 1999, until U.S. officials moved in to take over the investigation, after which coverage promptly ceased.

Of course, it could just have been lucky guesses by Henry about the cult-run ranches and the networks of Satanic cults running murder-for-hire oper
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:53 AM   #1313
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Is it possible that some serial killers were made to be that way?
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #1314
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...big-thing.html


New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of 'next big thing'
Leading thinkers - including Craig Venter and Ian McEwan - have marked New Year 2009 by predicting what will be the next big thing to shape the future.


Announcing the project, titled Annual Question 2009, the website's editor, John Brockman, wrote: "We are moving towards the redefinition of life, to the edge of creating life itself ... What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"

Freeman Dyson - Physicist at the Institute of Advanced Studies: Telepathy
"Radiotelepathy, the direct communication of feelings and thoughts from brain to brain. The ancient myth of telepathy ... would be replaced by a prosaic kind of telepathy induced by physical tools ... We have only to invent two new technologies, first the direct conversion of neural signals into radio signals and vice versa, and second the placement of microscopic radio transmitters and receivers within the tissue of a living brain."

Ian McEwan - Novelist and writer: New energy
"The full flourishing of solar technology ... The technologies are unrolling at an exhilarating pace, with input from nanotechnology and artificial photosynthesis ... My hope is that architects will be drawn to designing gorgeous arrays and solar towers in the desert –as expressive of our aspirations as Medieval cathedrals once were."

J. Craig Venter - Genome Scientist at the J. Craig Venter Institute: The expansion of genetic engineering
"We have now shown that DNA is absolutely the information-coded material of life by completely transforming one species into another simply by changing the DNA in the cell ...Very soon we will be able to do the same experiment with the synthetic chromosome ... to direct organisms to do processes that are desperately needed, like create renewable biofuels and recycle carbon dioxide."

Kevin Kelly - Editor-at-Large at Wired magazine and author of New Rules for the New Economy: Artificial intelligence
"Cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence ... We'd use it the same way we've exploited previous powers –by wasting it on seemingly silly things. Of course we'd plan to apply AI to tough research problems like curing cancer ... but the real disruption will come from inserting wily mindfulness into vending machines, our shoes, books, tax returns, automobiles, email, and pulse meters."

John Gottman - Psychologist and founder of Gottman Institute: Colonisation of the Milky Way
"In the year 2,500 more than 20,000 ships set out, 2 headed for each planet. It was inevitable that many ships would successfully make the journey. No one knew what they would find. There was no plan for communication between the stars. The colonisation of the Milky Way had begun."

Karl Sabbagh - Writer and television producer: End of harm
"In the brains of everyone, from abusive parents and rapists to arms dealers and heads of state, there can arise a concatenation of nerve impulses which allow someone to see as 'normal'... the mutilation, maiming or death of another for one's own pleasure, greed or benefit ... If such a specific pattern of brain activity were detectable, could methods then be devised that prevented or disrupted it whenever it was about to arise? At its most plausible ... everyone could wear microcircuit-based devices that detected the pattern and suppressed or disrupted it."

Irene Pepperberg - Psychologist at Harvard University: Mastering of the brain
"Knowledge of exactly how the brain works will change everything ... We will, for example ameliorate diseases in which the brain stops working properly –from diseases involving cognitive deficits such as Alzheimers to those involving issues of physical control such as Parkinsons. We will monitor just when the brain stops functioning optimally and begin interventions much earlier. Age-related senility, with its concomitant problems and societal costs, will cease to exist."

Lawrence Krauss - Physicist and Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University: Use of nuclear weapons against civilians
"The detonation of even a small nuclear explosive, similar in size, for example, to the one that destroyed Hiroshima, would produce an impact on the economies, politics, and lifestyles of the first world in a way that would make the impact of 9/11 seem trivial."

Steven Pinker - Professor of Psychology at Harvard University: Personal genomics
"Personalised medicine, in which drugs are prescribed according to the patient's molecular background rather than by trial and error ... The ultimate empowerment of medical consumers, who will know their own disease risks and seek commensurate treatment, rather than relying on the hunches and folklore of a paternalistic family doctor."

Anton Zeilinger - Scientific Director at the Austrian Academy of Sciences: Breakdown of all computers
"Some day all semi-conductors, and therefore all computers will break down ... The breakdown will be caused by a giant electromagnetic pulse (EMP) created by a nuclear explosion outside Earth's atmosphere."

Brian Eno - Musician and producer: The end of optimism
"Human development thus far has been fuelled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. But suppose the feeling changes ... Humans fragment into tighter, more selfish bands ... Long term projects are abandoned–their payoffs are too remote. Global projects are abandoned–not enough trust to make them work. Resources that are already scarce will be rapidly exhausted as everybody tries to grab the last precious bits ... Survivalism rules. Might will be right."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #1315
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28540927/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...ert-venue.html

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/...ets.4840100.jp



The monument has baffled archaeologists who have argued for decades over the stone circle's 5,000-year history but academic Rupert Till believes he has solved the riddle by suggesting it may have been used for ancient raves.

Mr Till, an expert in acoustics and music technology at Huddersfield University, West Yorks., believes the standing stones had the ideal acoustics to amplify a "repetitive trance rhythm".

The original Stonehenge probably had a "very pleasant, almost concert-like acoustic" that our ancestors slowly perfected over many generations

Because Stonehenge itself is partially collapsed, Dr Till, from York, North Yorks., used a computer model to conduct experiments in sound.

The most exciting discoveries came when he and colleague Dr Bruno Fazenda visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge, with all the original stones intact, which was built as a war memorial by American road builder Sam Hill at Maryhill in Washington state.

lthough the replica has not previously gained any attention from archaeologists studying the original site, it was ideal for Dr Till's work.

He said: "We were able to get some interesting results when we visited the replica by using computer-based acoustic analysis software, a 3D soundfield microphone, a dodecahedronic speaker, and a huge bass speaker from a PA company.

"By comparing results from paper calculations, computer simulations based on digital models, and results from the concrete Stonehenge copy, we were able to come up with some of these theories about the uses of Stonehenge.

"We have also been able to reproduce the sound of someone speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.

"The most interesting thing is we managed to get the whole space (at Maryhill) to resonate, almost like a wine glass will ring if you run a finger round it.

"While that was happening a simple drum beat sounded incredibly dramatic. The space had real character; it felt that we had gone somewhere special."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #1316
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...=moreheadlines



Nanodiamonds, such as these in the black layer of sediment at the Murray Springs archaeological site in Arizona, may explain the extinction of large animals, the disappearance of the Clovis culture and the climate change of an epoch known as the Younger Dryas. (Courtesy Of University Of Oregon)

In just the last few years, there has arisen a controversial scientific hypothesis to explain this chain of events, and it involves an extraterrestrial calamity: a comet, broken into fragments, turning the sky ablaze, sending a shock wave across the landscape and scorching forests, creatures, people and anything exposed to the heavenly fire.

Now the proponents of this apocalyptic scenario say they have found a new line of evidence: nanodiamonds. They say they have found these tiny structures across North America in sediments from 12,900 years ago, and they argue that the diamonds had to have been formed by a high-temperature, high-pressure event, such as a cometary impact.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:16 AM   #1317
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...hed-China.html

'Dinosaur City': World's largest fossil site unearthed in China

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:05 PM on 30th December 2008

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Scientists claim to have uncovered the world's largest haul of dinosaur fossils in China.

They recovered some 7,600 fossils from a 980ft-long pit near Zhucheng city in the eastern province of Shandong in a dig lasting seven months.

The finds at the site - dubbed 'Dinosaur City' - include the remains of a 65ft hadrosaurus, possibly a record size for fossils of the duck-billed species.


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Old 01-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #1318
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...-freckles.html


European Neanderthals had ginger hair and freckles
Neanderthals living in Europe were fair skinned, freckled and had ginger hair, a study has revealed.




The gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

In a major breakthrough, Spanish scientists have discovered the blood group and two other genes of the early humans who lived 43,000 ago.

After analysing the fossil bones found in a cave in north-west Spain, the experts concluded they had human blood group "O" and were genetically more likely to be fair skinned, perhaps even with freckles, have red or ginger hair and could talk.

The investigating team from Spain's government scientific institute, CSIC, used the very latest forensic techniques to remove the bones for analysis to prevent them getting contaminated with modern DNA.

Carles Lalueza, an evolutionary biologist with the investigation, said: "What we were trying to do was to create the most realistic image of the Neanderthals with details that are not visible in the fossils, but which form part of their identity."

The report, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, concludes that: "These results suggest the genetic change responsible for the O blood group in humans predates the human and Neanderthal divergence" but came "after humans separated from their common ancestor ... chimpanzees."

The Spanish scientists also describe how they also discovered two other genes.

One gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.

Another, a variety of FOXP2, is related to speaking and the capacity to create a language and therefore suggests they could communicate orally.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #1319
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5446697.ece

Secret army of ‘scallywags’ to sabotage German occupation



By day they were ordinary civilians — from dentists and clergymen to gamekeepers and roadmenders – in a Britain gripped by fear of imminent invasion by Hitler’s blitzkreig troops.

The only clue to their alter egos might have been the pieces of paper in their pockets – informing any police officer suspicious of their behaviour “to ask no questions of the bearer but phone this number”.

But new details have now emerged of the highly secretive role played by a “resistance” army of fit young men and women chosen as would-be saboteurs and spies in the event of a German landing.

In the dark days of 1940, the unit grew to about 6,000 members, who knew little of each other and operated in small guerrilla groups. Recruited to disrupt a German occupation force – including roles such as blowing up tanks, lorry parks and communications – the teams prepared by carrying out covert missions, known as “scallywagging”, at night.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #1320
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http://www.spiegel.de/international/...599211,00.html

Energy of the Stars, With No Emissions

A consortium of governments will build a groundbreaking fusion power plant in France for a price in excess of €5 billion. After decades of discouraging setbacks, plasma physics has made jaw-dropping recent progress. Could it save the world?

Something went wrong during reactor experiment number 23,995. The fusion process started, continued for a second, but suddenly broke off. Before it collapsed the plasma in the reactor chamber began to vibrate, and microphones transmitted a squealing sound to the control center.

"The plasma probably had too much contact with the chamber walls," physicist Arne Kallenbach surmised, "and then underwent a sudden drop in temperature. That happens fairly often. Unfortunately, the plasma is pretty unstable, particularly during the phase when it is being heated up."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #1321
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/sc...spac.html?_r=2

The Fight Over NASA’s Future



NASA has named the rocket Ares I, as in the god of war — and its life has been a battle from the start.

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Interesting:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...der-obama.html

NASA may get a boost from the Pentagon under Obama


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http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...TELLATION.html

A New Fleet of Spacecraft

NASA is developing spacecraft to replace its aging shuttle fleet and return astronauts to the Moon by 2020. The first spacecraft in the Constellation program is expected to be launched in 2015, five years after the scheduled end of the shuttle program. Related Article
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #1322
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http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/...-of.4840705.jp

2009 – the year of the big switch-off has arrived

Published Date: 03 January 2009
By Jenny Haworth
A FIFTH of the world's population can no longer see the Milky Way with the naked eye due to artificial lights blocking out the view of the stars.
This year, which is International Year of Astronomy, a new project is taking place to try to improve the visibility of the stars.

Campaigners at the Dark Skies Awareness project will be lobbying local authorities and members of the public to turn off lights in built-up areas at night.

Malcolm Smith, an astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, wrote about the importance of the project in the journal Nature.


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http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...push-to-t.html

A New Push to Turn Off the Lights in 2009

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:24 AM   #1323
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Cattle up trees, roads swept away in NT flooding

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...05/2459550.htm

A property manager from the Northern Territory's Barkly region says eight times more rain has fallen in one downpour than fell in the whole of last year.

Manager of Avon Downs, Ben Wratten says he's had about 450 millimetres since Saturday, forcing his neighbours at Austral House to be evacuated by helicopter after being inundated.

In the 14 months previous, his property had received only 55 millimetres.

Mr Wratten says the rain has devastated the region because of the dry conditions leading up to it.

"There have been cattle swept away in the flood waters. Because we've had such a volume of rain in such a short period of time, although this country is very flat, the water's been very fast and that's where we've copped the most losses because there's cattle tangled in trees."

The Northern Territory roads manager in the Barkly says he's never seen so much rain dumped in the region during his 25 years with the department.

John Bertram says the monsoonal rain is unusually heavy, with massive falls in the Rankin and James River catchment areas.

He says the Barkly Highway has been closed since Saturday and is likely to be cut off for some time.

"At a rough guess, we would say about a week. We won't know the extent of the damage until the flooding recedes, but ... we currently have all contractors on standby to affect repairs (where the highway has been washed away) as soon as we're able to reach the location."
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #1324
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http://thecrit.com/2008/10/05/florid...tree-with-thc/

Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC



In the summer of 1984, 10th-grader Irwin Nanofsky and a friend were driving down the Apalachee Parkway on the way home from baseball practice when they were pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction.

“It’s quite simple, really,” Nanofsky explains, “I wanted to combine Citrus sinesis with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.” In layman’s terms, the respected college professor proposed to grow oranges that would contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Fourteen years later, that project is complete, and Nanofsky has succeeded where his letter writing campaign of yore failed: he has the undivided attention of the nation’s top drug enforcement agencies, political figures, and media outlets.

The turning point in the Nanofsky saga came when the straight-laced professor posted a message to Internet newsgroups announcing that he was offering “cannabis-equivalent orange tree seeds” at no cost via the U.S. mail. Several weeks later, U.S. Justice Department officials showed up at the mailing address used in the Internet announcement: a tiny office on the second floor of the Dittmer Laboratory of Chemistry building on the FSU campus. There they would wait for another 40 minutes before Prof. Nanofsky finished delivering a lecture to graduate students on his recent research into the “cis-trans photoisomerization of olefins.”

“I knew it was only a matter of time before someone sent me more than just a self-addressed stamped envelope,” Nanofsky quips, “but I was surprised to see Janet Reno’s special assistant at my door.” After a series of closed door discussions, Nanofsky agreed to cease distribution of the THC-orange seeds until the legal status of the possibly narcotic plant species is established.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #1325
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/20/ar...gn/20sacr.html

Turning On, Tuning In and Painting the Results



The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in Chelsea will close at the end of this month. That may not mean much to most of the art world’s hipper denizens, but it will to visionary and psychedelic-art fans for whom the chapel has been a mecca since it opened in 2004.

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