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Old 06-10-2011, 07:14 AM   #2626
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...5901120110610#

(Reuters) - A devastating wheat fungus is active in 11 countries in Africa and the Middle East, according to scientists striving to develop resistant varieties before the fungus can attack fields around the globe.

Up to 90 percent of the world's wheat is susceptible to the strain of stem rust, called Ug99, first detected in Uganda in 1999. The oval, brick-red lesions of stem rust sap wheat plants and cut yields by 50 to 70 percent over wide areas and can destroy entire fields.

Ahead of a meeting of scientists next week in St. Paul, Minnesota, researchers said they are close to producing rust-defeating varieties that also boost yields. Wheat is the most widely grown food grain in the world and is second only to rice as a food staple.

"We're pretty confident," said Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University, of endowing wheat with three or four genes that resist rust, a virtually unbeatable combination. Still, it can be years, even a decade, before resistance can be transferred into local varieties and grown widely.

The new varieties would not be genetically modified. Wheat growers have resisted using GMO seeds because of consumer concerns, especially in Europe.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:18 AM   #2627
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13682082#

Bilderberg mystery: Why do people believe in cabals?

Quote:
The politics of cabals has always been pretty muddled, says James McConnachie, co-author of the Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories. These groups allow protesters to project their own fears onto them.

In the US, the most extreme fear over Bilderberg is of a hidden cabal run by the European Union and threatening American freedoms. In Europe, the view is often of a free market elite trying to push through a right-wing agenda.

"Conspiracy theories are quite blind to conventional notions of left and right," says McConnachie. "The left is organising an international government. Meanwhile, global capitalism on the right may be doing the same thing by different means."

Would this article be misinformation, disinformation, truth, untruth?
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:40 AM   #2628
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http://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/...ws/story01.htm

from New Scientist - Online News
2 people liked this
Tempted to put off the job hunt for another year? Surely a master's degree will make you more employable? Not necessarily
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:42 AM   #2629
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #2630
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ef=online-news

Zoologger: The hardest spider in the world



Species: Palpimanus gibbulus

Habitat: Mediterranean countries, particularly Spain and Portugal, lurking under rocks and tiptoeing towards other spiders

If you, like Mark Zuckerberg, plan to kill something and eat it, pick something that's either smaller than you or can't fight back, or preferably both. Otherwise you might bite off more than you can chew.

Not every predator takes things that easy. The desert long-eared bat happily munches on deadly scorpions, and recent footage showed a ground beetle tackling a toad several times its size. That's impressive, but toads are not exactly vicious predators.

To really display your ballsiness as a predator, you need to take on other predators – preferably ones that would eat you given half the chance. That's exactly what the spider-eating spider Palpimanus gibbulus does. This arachnid thug muscles its way into other spiders' homes and attacks them head-on.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:23 AM   #2631
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http://www.kurzweilai.net/this-weeks...-vulnerability

This week’s solar flare illuminates the grid’s vulnerability
June 13, 2011

Source: New York Times — June 9, 2011

The next peak cycle of sunspot activity is predicted for 2012–2014, bringing with it a greater risk of large geomagnetic storms that can generate powerful rogue currents in transmission lines, potentially damaging or destroying the large transformers that manage power flow over high-voltage networks.

In the worst-case scenario, the stockpile of spare transformers would fall far short of replacement needs. Urban centers across the continent would be without power for many months or even years, until new transformers could be manufactured and delivered from Asia. No comprehensive plan exists to retrofit the transmission grid with protective devices.

“The U.S. society and economy are so critically dependent upon the availability of electricity that a significant collapse of the grid precipitated by a major natural or man-made EMP [electro-magnetic pulse] event could result in catastrophic civilian casualties,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said at a May 31 House Energy subcommittee hearing on the issue.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:59 AM   #2632
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Trail of a walking tree

NEW DELHI: Scientist Dr Ashok Marathe, of Deccan College,Poona,India,claims to have found a walking mango tree which is 1,300 years old. He says the tree grows to a huge size,then lowers
one of its branches to the ground, some distance from the trunk, where it takes root.
As a new trunk starts to grow the old one withers away. Seniya Ukhadia, a 95 year-old villager, told the scientist that the tree had changed its location at least three times
in the last 50 years. (2)
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #2633
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http://inhabitat.com/new-renewable-e...-sun-and-wind/

Researchers at the University of Bolton in the UK have developed a device capable of capturing energy from not only the sun and wind but rain, as well. The innovative generator is comprised of ribbons made from a piezoelectric polymer that generate energy currents when disturbed, and are also coated in flexible photovoltaic (PV) film that helps the device capture energy from the sun as well. In its current state the device can only generate small amounts of electricity but the researchers envision future pine cone shaped structures with thousands of ribbons vibrating in the wind and rain and soaking up the sun.

Elias Siores at the Institute for Materials Research and Innovation at the University of Bolton in the UK was one of the researchers on the project and said that the team’s goal was to get over the problem of renewable energy being intermittent. A field of wind turbines is great unless the wind isn’t blowing and a rooftop of solar panels can be helpful unless it is nighttime. Their new generator could help solve these problems by allowing one device to capture energy from a multitude of sources. “What we wanted was something that can take energy from different elements,” he told NewScientist.

The ribbons of piezoelectric polymer are capable of creating energy each time they are disturbed and the more forcefully they are moved the more energy they create. The team is looking into new applications for their technology and think they could create energy-generating clothing from the PV film-coated piezoelectric polymers by making a thread-like material from the same components. If successful the team could create a line of clothing that would generate energy with your own body movement and the elements in the world around you.

Read more: New Renewable Energy Generator Grabs Electricity from Rain as Well as Sun and Wind | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:24 AM   #2634
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http://io9.com/5808753/a-mutant-that-kills-cancer

Full size
breakthrough
A mutant that kills cancer

Annalee Newitz — A medical researcher has discovered that a mutant gene once believed to cause cancerous tumors is actually the perfect weapon to stop them. Weirdly, it's possible that benign tumors may be the key to stopping cancer.

The Mayo Clinic's Dr. Honey Reddi experimented with thyroid cancer genes, and this week will present a paper at a meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston about her incredible discovery. Reports the Mayo Clinic:

Dr. Reddi's discovery could have widespread implications in cancer research and endocrinology. It could help oncologists sharpen the diagnosis of specific types of thyroid cancers, while leading pharmaceutical researchers toward therapeutics derived from a protein once thought to feed tumor growth.

"It's not an oncogene like everyone thought it was," Dr. Reddi says, referring to a gene with the potential to cause cancer. "We all knew what happened in the cell culture, but we said, 'That's not good enough,' so we asked, 'What would it do in mice?'" . . . Dr. Reddi's research found that the PAX8/PPARγ fusion protein, developed from a mutated fusion gene found in many follicular thyroid carcinomas, functions as a tumor suppressor by upregulating (encourages natural production of) microRNA-122 and PTEN, both naturally occurring anti-tumor agents.

Read more via the Mayo Clinic website.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:26 AM   #2635
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http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/...d-its-people/#

Humans are cultivating almost 40 percent of the land surface of the earth, and nearly a third of all the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet comes from agriculture and forestry. Those emissions are linked not only to the factors that many people tend to think about, like the fossil fuels burned in transporting food; that, in fact, is only a minor source of emissions.

Nitrogen fertilizer, though essential to producing food for seven billion people, is one large source of emissions, and not only because it requires natural gas to produce. After it is spread on farmers’ fields, a portion of it turns into a potent greenhouse gas that escapes into the atmosphere. (As many people know, some nitrogen also washes into rivers and streams, ultimately making its way to the ocean, where it contributes to dead zones at the mouths of many of our great rivers, including the Mississippi.)

The biggest of all the ways that agriculture contributes to climate change, though, is the chopping down of forests to make way for farms and cattle grazing. The world’s forests are enormous stores of carbon dioxide, and when they are cleared, the vegetation that is burned or allowed to decay oxidizes into carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. In recent years, changes in land use have accounted for some 25 percent of the carbon dioxide being emitted on the planet, and the bulk of those changes are driven by agriculture.

As my colleague Elisabeth Rosenthal has reported here and here, efforts are under way to slow deforestation. But scientists say that alone will not be enough. Somehow, even as humanity increases the production of food over the coming decades, it must reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture. The alternative is continued ecological degradation and a worsening of climate change, which in turn would make food production harder.

When you view the problem in that light, the challenge of feeding ourselves becomes that much larger.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:35 AM   #2636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemical View Post
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/...d-its-people/#

Humans are cultivating almost 40 percent of the land surface of the earth, and nearly a third of all the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet comes from agriculture and forestry. Those emissions are linked not only to the factors that many people tend to think about, like the fossil fuels burned in transporting food; that, in fact, is only a minor source of emissions.

Nitrogen fertilizer, though essential to producing food for seven billion people, is one large source of emissions, and not only because it requires natural gas to produce. After it is spread on farmers’ fields, a portion of it turns into a potent greenhouse gas that escapes into the atmosphere. (As many people know, some nitrogen also washes into rivers and streams, ultimately making its way to the ocean, where it contributes to dead zones at the mouths of many of our great rivers, including the Mississippi.)

The biggest of all the ways that agriculture contributes to climate change, though, is the chopping down of forests to make way for farms and cattle grazing. The world’s forests are enormous stores of carbon dioxide, and when they are cleared, the vegetation that is burned or allowed to decay oxidizes into carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. In recent years, changes in land use have accounted for some 25 percent of the carbon dioxide being emitted on the planet, and the bulk of those changes are driven by agriculture.

As my colleague Elisabeth Rosenthal has reported here and here, efforts are under way to slow deforestation. But scientists say that alone will not be enough. Somehow, even as humanity increases the production of food over the coming decades, it must reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture. The alternative is continued ecological degradation and a worsening of climate change, which in turn would make food production harder.

When you view the problem in that light, the challenge of feeding ourselves becomes that much larger.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...itics_of_food#

Quote:
The New Geopolitics of Food
From the Middle East to Madagascar, high prices are spawning land grabs and ousting dictators. Welcome to the 21st-century food wars.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article..._of_9_billion#

The Myth of 9 Billion
Why ignoring family planning overseas was the worst foreign-policy mistake of the century.


This week, the United Nations Population Division made a radical shift in its population projections. Previously, the organization had estimated that the number of people living on the planet would reach around 9 billion by 2050 -- and then level off. Now everything has changed: Rather than leveling off, the population size will continue to grow, reaching 10 billion or more at century's end.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:01 AM   #2637
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Congratulations Tennessee! Governor Bill Haslam has put your state in the national spotlight and, for once, it has nothing to do with Bonnaroo or how bad the Titans are. The republican executive of the state signed a ban on "distressing images" into law last week that we're sure constitutional lawyers are going to have a field day with. Anyone who sends or posts an image online (and yes, that includes TwitPics) that they "reasonably should know" would "cause emotional distress" could face several months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. The best part? Anyone who stumbles across the image is a viable "victim" under the law and the government doesn't even have to prove any harmful intent. So, Tennessee residents who aren't cautious enough using Google image search could get a few people in trouble. Another, and perhaps more perturbing, part of the same bill also seeks to circumvent restrictions on obtaining private messages and information from social networking sites without a search warrant. We give it about a month before this gets struck down on obvious grounds that it's unconstitutional.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/10/t...-facebook-inb/
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #2638
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/06/ellsb...sidered-legal/

Ellsberg Discusses How Crimes Nixon Committed Are Now Considered Legal

Posted by Pelliciari on June 10, 2011
DS

Photo: Thomas Good (CC)

Is President Obama getting away with some of the same offenses that led to Nixon’s resignation? Daniel Ellsberg thinks so. The Raw Story reports:

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg said Tuesday that disgraced former Republican President Richard M. Nixon would “admire [President Barack] Obama’s boldness” in trying to stifle whistleblowers.

“Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life,” Ellsberg told CNN. “And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me — which forced his resignation facing impeachment — are now legal,” he continued.

“That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to ‘incapacitate me totally’ (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971)… But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders. [T]hey have all become legal.”
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #2639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemical View Post
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/06/ellsb...sidered-legal/

Ellsberg Discusses How Crimes Nixon Committed Are Now Considered Legal

Posted by Pelliciari on June 10, 2011
DS

Photo: Thomas Good (CC)

Is President Obama getting away with some of the same offenses that led to Nixon’s resignation? Daniel Ellsberg thinks so. The Raw Story reports:

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg said Tuesday that disgraced former Republican President Richard M. Nixon would “admire [President Barack] Obama’s boldness” in trying to stifle whistleblowers.

“Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life,” Ellsberg told CNN. “And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me — which forced his resignation facing impeachment — are now legal,” he continued.

“That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to ‘incapacitate me totally’ (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971)… But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders. [T]hey have all become legal.”
All in the name of freedom baby. The irony is so complete, George Orwell could not have written a more nightmarish contruct had he tried.

In a democracy laws should protect citizens from the state, in a dictatorship the laws protect the state from the people, and right now laws are not being written that protect citizens.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #2640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyldenlove View Post
All in the name of freedom baby. The irony is so complete, George Orwell could not have written a more nightmarish contruct had he tried.

In a democracy laws should protect citizens from the state, in a dictatorship the laws protect the state from the people, and right now laws are not being written that protect citizens.
i wonder what the resolution is. Is there any solution to this problem?
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:47 AM   #2641
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http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/...-little-ponys/

My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as ‘Bronies’

Each day, out-of-work computer programmer Luke Allen self-medicates by watching animated ponies have magical adventures.

The 32-year-old, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, loves his daily fix of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, and he’s not alone. He’s part of a growing group of “bronies” (“bro ponies”) — men who are fans of a TV show largely intended for a much younger audience.

“First we can’t believe this show is so good, then we can’t believe we’ve become fans for life, then we can’t believe we’re walking down the pink aisle at Toys R Us or asking for the girl’s toy in our Happy Meal,” Allen said in an e-mail to Wired.com. “Then we can’t believe our friends haven’t seen it yet, then we can’t believe they’re becoming bronies too.”

Every nerd has a favorite TV show they watch religiously and know inside and out. But My Little Pony seems like an unlikely object of fanboy love. Since the show debuted last fall on cable channel Hub TV, it’s attracted a growing number of male fanatics. Their love of the show is internet neo-sincerity at its best: In addition to watching the show, these teenage, twenty- and thirtysomething guys are creating pony art, posting fan videos on YouTube and feeding threads on 4chan (and their own chan, Ponychan).

They also risk life, limb and being trolled to death on the /co/ board to fawn over a small gaggle of ponies with names like Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:51 AM   #2642
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/...ucheverything#

Poll finds Americans angry about pretty much everything

A new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds that Americans are angry about…pretty much everything. From President Obama to congressional Republicans to even God (who has a 33 percent approval rating), everyone needs to watch out for an angry mob coming their way.

Unemployment is at 9.1 percent, gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing, the housing market is in the dumps, and people aren’t happy. Three quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, and 81 percent say the job market is not where it needs to be. Half of respondents don’t think Obama has a plan to balance the budget, and 58 percent think Republicans aren’t doing their part to balance the budget either.

The poll finds that Americans are being affected by their anger in other parts of life as well. Fifty-six percent are so angry that they can’t even sleep and 13 percent say the anxiety has affected their sex life. Twenty-six percent of married respondents claim the country’s economic problems have affected their marriage, with more than half of those people saying it has made their marriage worse.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:57 AM   #2643
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Add this to places I want to go to:

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/p...-mount-roraima



Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima mountain chain in South America. The 31 square kilometer summit area is defined by 400 meter tall cliffs on all sides and includes the borders of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana. The tabletop mountains of the Pakaraima’s are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years ago.

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #2644
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Have any of you guys heard of 'the game'?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_%28mind_game%29#

Quote:
The Game is a mental game where the objective is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes a loss, which, according to the rules of The Game, must be announced each time it occurs. It is impossible to win most versions of The Game; players can only attempt to avoid losing for as long as they possibly can. The Game has been variously described as pointless and infuriating, or as challenging and fun to play.[1] As of 2010, The Game is played by millions worldwide.[1][2][3][4][5]

Is this the secret solution to our problems in the world?
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:49 AM   #2645
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Facebook loses 6M U.S. users in May
from BLACKLISTEDNEWS.COM
Facebook may continue to gain users, but the world’s biggest social network isn’t gaining them as quickly as it has been and is actually losing users in the U.S.

Facebook gained 11.8 million more users last month alone, according to a study by Inside Facebook. While that’s a lot of new users, it’s less than the 13.9 million new users who joined the site in April, or the 20 million gain during some months in the past year.

And while Inside Facebook reports that the social network is approaching 700 million users worldwide, the number of U.S. users has dropped. The study found that Facebook lost 6 million U.S. users in May.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:52 AM   #2646
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http://www.gizmag.com/thermally-acti...te-heat/18902/

'Thermally activated cooling system' puts waste heat to use




Automobiles, appliances, power plants, factories and electrical utilities all waste one thing: heat. More specifically, they produce heat as a by-product of their normal operations, but that heat is just dispersed into the air instead of being put to use. Researchers from Oregon State University, however, have created a prototype system that harnesses waste heat to (rather ironically) cool the device that's creating the heat in the first place. While it isn't the first system to do so, it is claimed to be unusually efficient ... and, it can generate electricity.

The "thermally activated cooling system" combines two systems that have previously been used for the harnessing and dispersion of waste heat - a vapor compression cycle and an organic Rankine cycle.

A vapor compression cycle is what's at work in a refrigerator. It incorporates a recirculating liquid refrigerant, that (in this case) travels through microchannel heat exchangers, absorbing and carrying heat away from hot surfaces, to be released elsewhere.

An organic Rankine cycle, on the other hand, utilizes an organic liquid with a lower liquid-vapor phase change point than that of water. This means that it doesn't take as high a temperature to get it to boil, and once it boils, it can generate electricity.

By combining the two cycles, heat is both drawn away, and put to work powering cooling systems. The prototype at OSU has already been shown to be capable of turning 80 percent of every kilowatt of waste heat into one kilowatt of cooling capability.

When it comes to pure electricity production, the thermally activated cooling system isn't quite as impressive, coming out at 15-20 percent efficiency. Not great, admit the researchers, but still considerably better than nothing.

They envision the system being used to cool electronics, factories, alternative energy systems, and perhaps even to use the heat from hybrid cars' combustion engines to charge their batteries.

The research was recently published in the journal Applied Thermal Engineering.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:55 AM   #2647
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http://dornob.com/see-through-concre...mitting-walls/



You might remember this wonderful innovation from Litracon® – translucent concrete – from its days as a prototype with small (paid) samples available to interested architects. Now, however, it has begun to be deployed in real-life buildings.



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Old 06-14-2011, 05:57 AM   #2648
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New Zealand police catch drink-driving family
from Nothing To Do With Arbroath by arbroath
1 person liked this
It must have set a record, but it's one a South Canterbury family would surely much rather not have, after three of them were booked for drink-driving on the same night.

The saga began at about 12.15am on Saturday when a 15-year-old boy was stopped and arrested for drink-driving on State Highway 1 near Pareora. He blew 529 micrograms per litre of breath, more than three and a half times the youth limit.



The teenager was taken to the Timaru police station for processing, where his mother was called to collect him. She was subsequently stopped and arrested for drink-driving on Craigie Ave at about 2.14am, after blowing 776 mcg, nearly twice the adult limit of 400.

But it wasn't over there. The woman then rang her partner to come and pick them both up. He was stopped and arrested on North St at about 3am, when he blew 559mcg.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:59 AM   #2649
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/06/conne...na-possession/

When is our large neighbor to the west going to figure this one out? Sorry New Yorkers … but hopefully we are on the road to legalization in Connecticut. Daniela Altimari writes in the Hartford Courant:

After a lengthy debate, the state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The vote was 90 to 57 in favor and came after a spirited discussion that stretched on for nearly five hours.

The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who immediately hailed its passage and pledged to sign it when it reaches his desk.

“Final approval of this legislation accepts the reality that the current law does more harm than good — both in the impact it has on people’s lives and the burden it places on police, prosecutors and probation officers of the criminal justice system,” Malloy said in a statement emailed to reporters moments after the vote was tallied.

“Let me make it clear — we are not legalizing the use of marijuana. In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime, and acknowledging the effects of its application. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders,” Malloy said.

Read More in the Hartford Courant
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:11 AM   #2650
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http://www.dangerousminds.net/commen..._were_screwed/

Apocalypse Now: Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham thinks we’re screwed

Today, via the often quirky Business Insider website, I came across an alarming presentation from Jeremy Grantham. Does his name ring a bell? Jeremy Grantham is a co-founder and the Chief Investment Strategist of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO), an asset management firm with more than $108 billion dollars in assets under their care. It’s one of the largest asset management firms in the world.

Grantham is noted for his prediction of various bubbles in asset classes and his knack for seeing which direction the market is moving in. Lately he’s turned very, very bearish. Now, Grantham’s insisting: “We’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.”

Summary of the Summary
The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

Summary
Until about 1800, our species had no safety margin and lived, like other animals, up to the limit of the food supply, ebbing and flowing in population.
From about 1800 on the use of hydrocarbons allowed for an explosion in energy use, in food supply, and, through the creation of surpluses, a dramatic increase in wealth and scientific progress.
Since 1800, the population has surged from 800 million to 7 billion, on its way to an estimated 8 billion, at minimum.
The rise in population, the ten-fold increase in wealth in developed countries, and the current explosive growth in developing countries have eaten rapidly into our finite resources of hydrocarbons and metals, fertilizer, available land, and water.
Now, despite a massive increase in fertilizer use, the growth in crop yields per acre has declined from 3.5% in the 1960s to 1.2% today. There is little productive new land to bring on and, as people get richer, they eat more grain-intensive meat. Because the population continues to grow at over 1%, there is little safety margin.
The problems of compounding growth in the face of finite resources are not easily understood by optimistic, short-term-oriented, and relatively innumerate humans (especially the political variety).
The fact is that no compound growth is sustainable. If we maintain our desperate focus on growth, we will run out of everything and crash. We must substitute qualitative growth for quantitative growth.
But Mrs. Market is helping, and right now she is sending us the Mother of all price signals. The prices of all important commodities except oil declined for 100 years until 2002, by an average of 70%. From 2002 until now, this entire decline was erased by a bigger price surge than occurred during World War II.
Statistically, most commodities are now so far away from their former downward trend that it makes it very probable that the old trend has changed – that there is in fact a Paradigm Shift – perhaps the most important economic event since the Industrial Revolution.
Climate change is associated with weather instability, but the last year was exceptionally bad. Near term it will surely get less bad.
Excellent long-term investment opportunities in resources and resource efficiency are compromised by the high chance of an improvement in weather next year and by the possibility that China may stumble.
From now on, price pressure and shortages of resources will be a permanent feature of our lives. This will increasingly slow down the growth rate of the developed and developing world and put a severe burden on poor countries.
We all need to develop serious resource plans, particularly energy policies. There is little time to waste.

You can go through the entire presentation at Business Insider. His charts show long, long term patterns and trends. Numbers don’t lie. There is very definitely a cause for concern. I’d very very curious what the Freakonomics guys had to say about this…
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