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Old 10-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #726
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http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-...M5T4LZE_0.html

Cassini images bizarre hexagon on Saturn

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #727
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http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...99s_north_pole

Huge cyclone churns at Saturn’s north pole
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #728
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ainforest.html


Nazis hoped to found empire in Amazonian rainforest
Nazis travelled into the Amazon rainforest to scout suitable sites for a South American colony, according to a new book.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:58 PM   #729
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http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...rs-if-you-want

Ghost Lusters: If You Want to See a Specter Badly Enough, Will You?
Researchers set up "haunted" room to prove an electromagnetic theory of ghost sightings
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:02 PM   #730
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http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblogs/thornhill.htm


Assembling the Solar System
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #731
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http://environment.newscientist.com/...by-dating.html

Biblical 'Solomon's mines' confirmed by dating
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #732
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10...st_stage_test/

The VASIMR "helicon first stage" - which generates the plasma for acceleration by the rest of the drive - has achieved its full rated power of 30 kilowatts using Argon propellant, according to the company. This paves the way for further trials in which in which the ion-cyclotron second stage will get to strut its stuff, boosting the helicon plasma stream to the target power of 200 kW.

The successful first-stage fire-up was a collaborative effort between Ad Astra and Nautel of Canada.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:04 PM   #733
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http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-M...ar-96609.shtml

The Most Ancient Temple in the World so Far
The Turkish Gobekli Tepe is six millennia older than Stonehenge
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:05 PM   #734
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http://technology.newscientist.com/c...geing%20device

unlight causes wrinkles, among other kinds of skin damage, but a different kind of light - specifically the red glow from LEDs - may help to smooth them out by altering the interactions between water and elastic proteins in the skin.

Andrei Sommer and Dan Zhu of the University of Ulm in Germany have been investigating how water molecules in the skin interact with different substances. They found that water molecules close to a hydrophobic, or "water-hating", substance formed a slippery crystalline layer, while those surrounding a hydrophilic, or water-loving, substance were glue-like.

Elastin, the fibrous protein that gives skin its elasticity and so counteracts wrinkling, is hydrophobic. But as we age, fatty acids, amino acids and calcium salts build up on the elastin fibres, making them hydrophilic. So the water film around the fibres becomes increasingly glue-like, causing them to stick to the surrounding tissue and reducing their elasticity.

Previous studies have suggested that red light with a wavelength of around 670 nanometres can make water molecules close to hydrophilic substances more mobile. So Sommer and Zhu aimed powerful red LEDs at the skin around the eyes for 90 seconds daily for 10 months, and found that it significantly reduced wrinkles (Crystal Growth and Design, DOI: 10.1021/cg8000703). "The result was rejuvenated skin," says Sommer.

Such LEDs have previously also been used to reverse eye damage and promote wound healing (New Scientist, 13 July 2002, p 16).

From issue 2679 of New Scientist magazine, 28 October 2008, page 21
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #735
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http://www.wunderkabinett.co.uk/damn...h-Hassles.html

Friday, October 24. 2008
Russian holes and Hollow Earth Hassles

A year and a half ago we looked at odd holes that had been found in Russia and now reports suggest people have been stumbling on more.

Siberian residents have discovered about ten tunnels of unknown origin in a field near a highway connecting the cities of Krasnoyarsk and Abakan, near the village of Kurgany. According to news sources, each hole has an entrance to a cave-like hollow spot in the earth. Some of the tunnels are big enough for a medium-sized person to stand upright and some speculate that all of the underground passages are interconnected. This has not been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, although a few intrepid souls equipped with flashlights have attempted to walk across all the tunnels.

...

Local residents have no shortage of theories concerning these strange formations. Some believe the tunnels to be the handiwork of unidentified pranksters, while others point fingers at mysterious (and unseen) animals that dig holes in the ground. Still another theory purports a connection to the tunnels with an earthquake that occurred in the area some three years ago.


Worth bearing in mind that Shamballah is sometimes said to be somewhere in southern Siberia or Mongolia (usually the Siberians say Mongolia and the Mongolians say Siberia - as with all lost mstical places it is often somewhere "not here" otherwise you'd have found it naturally).

Source

Hat tip

Of course, is someone digging down or digging out from... below. There is a book out that looks at Hollow Earth business:

Long before there was the Internet with which to propound alternate theories of reality, there was the small circulation newsletter. A labor of love for devotees of fringe and "out there" topics, some of these tiny "zines" developed a devoted following of readers eager to learn more about such topics as UFOs and occult subjects usually given short shrift by the mainstream print media.

One such publication was "The Hollow Hassle," a subscription newsletter that focused on the famous "Shaver Mysteries" and other subterranean subject matters.

...

But by the 1960s, interest in Shaver had begun to fade, and it was left to believers like Mary J. Martin to take up the task of keeping the subject alive and relevant.

Martin started a newsletter called "The Hollow Hassle," which ran for several years off and on, finally petering out completely in the mid-1980s. Martin's newsletter featured the writings of well-known Hollow Earth believers like Charles A. Marcoux and his wife Lorene, Tal Lavesque, and Bruce Walton, who now goes by the name Branton. In the new book's introduction, Martin said it would inevitably be a "hassle" to prove the group's beliefs, thus the newsletter's title.

Along with journalist Tim R. Swartz, Martin has recently compiled a "Best Of" collection of articles and essays from the newsletter that provides an excellent history of this grassroots newsletter approach to the mysteries Richard Shaver helped introduce to the world.


The beauty of it is that they don't just follow Shaver's ideas but go off into all sorts of strange areas: finding the Garden of Eden, meeting inner Earth giants and beyond. There is even a section from Shaver himself about the connection with UFOs (and throwing in the JFK assassinations for good measure). I suspect books like this are beyond simple notions of "good" and "bad" and may depend on what you are looking for: reinforcing your beliefs or some Fortean tourism into some of the stranger lands at the edge of the map (or under it).
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #736
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http://www.wunderkabinett.co.uk/damn...-miracles.html

Sunday, October 26. 2008
Ganesh grows in New York and spreads miracles

Another nice piece of religious simulacra has already started accumulating claims about its purported healing powers. It is also a return of our old friend Ganesh:

To most people, the purple flower that sprouted between two concrete slabs in a Queens backyard would be just a hardy vestige of summer.

Sam Lal sees something more.

The Jamaica man is convinced the mysterious blossom is an incarnation of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh - and neighbors and friends are flocking to see it.

The nearly 4-foot-tall flower grew in June and began to resemble an elephant's head and trunk in August. Lal said that the ailments that had plagued him for months disappeared.


The strange part of our tale is that the plant is alien to the US and doesn't grow into that shape:

Experts at the Queens Botanical Garden identified the plant as a member of the amaranth family, which is native to Africa, India and southern Central America but not the U.S. Horticulturalists at the garden have never seen an amaranth take an elephant-like shape, garden spokesman Tim Heimerle said.


"For it to have that long trunk like this is not a natural thing," he said.

Source

The story is spreading far and wide:

Since The News broke the story yesterday, everyone on Lal's block in Jamaica wanted to get a peek at the incredible flower.

"I'll never see anything like this in my lifetime," said Deepesh Patel, 25. His cousin, Uddit Patel, 17, says the flower definitely made a believer of him.

"I was astounded," Uddit Patel said. "It's proof there is a God."

The amazing plant story has been picked up by news media around the world, particularly in India, home to 1 billion Hindus.


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Old 10-28-2008, 01:12 PM   #737
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http://www.skilluminati.com/Research...social_control

Newt Gingrich on Using Language for Social Control
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:14 PM   #738
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http://www.newscientist.com/channel/...ine-news_rss20

Brain scans show the difference between love and hate
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:15 PM   #739
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http://technology.newscientist.com/c...dId=tech_rss20

Magnet triggers colours in 'blind' man's brain
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:10 AM   #740
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http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008...-of-ignorance/

The Triumph of Ignorance
Posted October 28, 2008

Why morons succeed in US politics.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 28th October 2008

How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind’s closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist?(1)

Like most people on this side of the Atlantic I have spent my adult life mystified by American politics. The US has the world’s best universities and attracts the world’s finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage.

There have been exceptions over the past century: Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton tempered their intellectualism with the common touch and survived; but Adlai Stevenson, Al Gore and John Kerry were successfully tarred by their opponents as members of a cerebral elite (as if this were not a qualification for the presidency). Perhaps the defining moment in the collapse of intelligent politics was Ronald Reagan’s response to Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential debate. Carter - stumbling a little, using long words - carefully enumerated the benefits of national health insurance. Reagan smiled and said “there you go again”(2). His own health programme would have appalled most Americans, had he explained it as carefully as Carter had done, but he had found a formula for avoiding tough political issues and making his opponents look like wonks.

It wasn’t always like this. The founding fathers of the republic - men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton - were among the greatest thinkers of their age. They felt no need to make a secret of it. How did the project they launched degenerate into George W Bush and Sarah Palin?

On one level this is easy to answer. Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people. US education, like the US health system, is notorious for its failures. In the most powerful nation on earth, one adult in five believes the sun revolves around the earth; only 26% accept that evolution takes place by means of natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; two-thirds of US voters cannot name the three branches of government; the maths skills of 15 year-olds in the US are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries of the OECD(3).

But this merely extends the mystery: how did so many US citizens become so dumb, and so suspicious of intelligence? Susan Jacoby’s book The Age of American Unreason provides the fullest explanation I have read so far. She shows that the degradation of US politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.

One theme is both familiar and clear: religion - in particular fundamentalist religion - makes you stupid. The US is the only rich country in which Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing.

Jacoby shows that there was once a certain logic to its anti-rationalism. During the first few decades after the publication of The Origin of Species, for example, Americans had good reason to reject the theory of natural selection and to treat public intellectuals with suspicion. From the beginning, Darwin’s theory was mixed up in the US with the brutal philosophy - now known as Social Darwinism - of the British writer Herbert Spencer. Spencer’s doctrine, promoted in the popular press with the help of funding from Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Thomas Edison, suggested that millionaires stood at the top of a scala natura established by evolution. By preventing unfit people from being weeded out, government intervention weakened the nation. Gross economic inequalities were both justifiable and necessary(4).

Darwinism, in other words, became indistinguishable to the public from the most bestial form of laissez-faire economics. Many Christians responded with revulsion. It is profoundly ironic that the doctrine rejected a century ago by such prominent fundamentalists as William Jennings Bryan is now central to the economic thinking of the Christian right. Modern fundamentalists reject the science of Darwinian evolution and accept the pseudoscience of Social Darwinism.

But there were other, more powerful, reasons for the intellectual isolation of the fundamentalists. The US is peculiar in devolving the control of education to local authorities. Teaching in the southern states was dominated by the views of an ignorant aristocracy of planters, and a great educational gulf opened up. “In the South”, Jacoby writes, “what can only be described as an intellectual blockade was imposed in order to keep out any ideas that might threaten the social order.”(5)

The Southern Baptist Convention, now the biggest Protestant denomination in the US, was to slavery and segregation what the Dutch Reformed Church was to apartheid in South Africa. It has done more than any other force to keep the South stupid. In the 1960s it tried to stave off desegregation by establishing a system of private Christian schools and universities. A student can now progress from kindergarten to a higher degree without any exposure to secular teaching. Southern Baptist beliefs pass intact through the public school system as well. A survey by researchers at the University of Texas in 1998 found that one in four of the state’s public school biology teachers believed that humans and dinosaurs lived on earth at the same time(6).

This tragedy has been assisted by the American fetishisation of self-education. Though he greatly regretted his lack of formal teaching, Abraham Lincoln’s career is repeatedly cited as evidence that good education, provided by the state, is unnecessary: all that is required to succeed is determination and rugged individualism. This might have served people well when genuine self-education movements, like the one built around the Little Blue Books in the first half of the 20th century, were in vogue. In the age of infotainment it is a recipe for confusion.

Besides fundamentalist religion, perhaps the most potent reason why intellectuals struggle in elections is that intellectualism has been equated with subversion. The brief flirtation of some thinkers with communism a long time ago has been used to create an impression in the public mind that all intellectuals are communists. Almost every day men like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly rage against the “liberal elites” destroying America.

The spectre of pointy-headed alien subversives was crucial to the election of Reagan and Bush. A genuine intellectual elite - like the neocons (some of them former communists) surrounding Bush - has managed to pitch the political conflict as a battle between ordinary Americans and an over-educated pinko establishment. Any attempt to challenge the ideas of the rightwing elite has been successfully branded as elitism.

Obama has a good deal to offer America, but none of this will come to an end if he wins. Until the great failures of the US education system are reversed or religious fundamentalism withers there will be political opportunities for people, like Bush and Palin, who flaunt their ignorance.

www.monbiot.com
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:16 AM   #741
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FBI Counter Terrorism Manual:

http://cryptome.org/fbi-ct-lexicon.pdf
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:19 AM   #742
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http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/34597

NSA and Army on quest for quantum physics jackpot
By Layer 8 on Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:35pm.

Sounds like a dangerous combination. The US Army Research Office and the National Security Agency (NSA) are together looking for some answers to their quantum physics questions.

Specifically the scary couple is soliciting proposals to achieve three broad goals:

-develop new quantum computing algorithms for hard computational problems;

-characterize the efficiency of candidate quantum algorithms;

-develop insights into the power of quantum computation and consider issues of quantum complexity and computability.

The announcement went on to say proposals for research should devise specific quantum algorithms to solve mathematically and computationally hard problems from such diverse fields as algebra, number theory, geometry, analysis, optimization, graph theory, differential equations, combinatorics, topology, logic, and simulation.

The Army said quantum algorithms that are developed should focus on constructive solutions for specific tasks, and on general methodologies for expressing and analyzing algorithms tailored to specific problems- though they didn't say what those specific tasks were or problems exactly were.

Other specifics of that the NSA and Army are looking for are as follows:

"To characterize the efficiency of candidate quantum algorithms, metrics must be developed to quantify the performance of quantum algorithms relative to their classical analogs. The problems to which they are being applied must have well-defined inputs, and well-defined outputs, along with a well-defined statement of what exactly is being computed. A full accounting of all computational resources must be made including such things as numbers of qubits, numbers of quantum gates, amount of memory being used, amounts of classical pre-computation and post-computation, probability of success, and number of times the algorithm must be run.

Investigators should presuppose the existence of a fully functional quantum computer and consider what algorithmic tasks are particularly well suited to such a machine. A necessary component of this research will be to compare the efficiency of the quantum algorithm to the best existing classical algorithm for the same problem."

The agencies went on to say they expect to award in March 2009 multiple, one to three year awards of less than $200K per year.

Quantum physics has long been an area of enormous government interest. In March, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said it was looking for innovative research proposals in the intriguing area of quantum entanglement -- a developing component of quantum physics that looks at the behavior between atoms and photons that could ultimately play a key role in developing security, unbelievably fast networks and even teleportation. DARPA's program, called Quantum Entanglement Science and Technology (QuEST) has the lofty goal of developing revolutionary advances in the fundamental understanding of quantum information science, DARPA said.

DARPA last month put out a research request it calls Mathematical Challenges, that has the mighty goal of "dramatically revolutionizing mathematics and thereby strengthening DoD's scientific and technological capabilities." The challenges are in fact 23 questions that if answered, would offer a high potential for major mathematical breakthroughs, DARPA said.

And just this month researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a technique that could make quantum cryptography significantly cheaper to implement, moving it nearer to possible commercial acceptance. The technique is aimed at cutting the cost of equipment needed for quantum key distribution (QKD), designed to distribute cryptographic keys using a secure system based on the principles of quantum mechanics.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:21 AM   #743
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http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/7,444,128

Method of estimating a high frequency carrier signal

Abstract

A method of estimating the carrier frequency of a signal is disclosed. The method comprising the steps of initializing a time average vector to zero, selecting a user-selectable time segment to divide a received signal into. A signal is received, and divided into the user-selectable time segments. A spectral peak vector is calculated by performing a spectral estimation process on the user-selectable time segment divided signal. A first correlation vector is calculated on the spectral peak vector, and a second correlation vector is calculated from the spectral peak vector and the first correlation vector. The time average vector is appended with the result from the second correlation vector, and the process repeats for each time segment the received signal was broken into. The carrier is estimated using the most commonly occurring frequency in the time average vector.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:22 AM   #744
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http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/7,442,577

Method of fabricating a patterned device using sacrificial spacer layer

Abstract

The present invention is a method of fabricating a patterned device using a sacrificial spacer layer. The first step in this process is to select an appropriate substrate and form a step thereon. The sacrificial layer is then applied to the substrate and a blocking layer is deposited on the sacrificial layer. The blocking layer is etched back to define the mask for the semiconductor structure and the sacrificial layer is removed. The substrate is then etched using the gap created by removal of the sacrificial layer.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:24 AM   #745
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...kvQ&refer=home

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The credit crunch is compounding a profit squeeze for farmers that may curb global harvests and worsen a food crisis for developing countries.

Global production of wheat, the most-consumed food crop, may drop 4.4 percent next year, said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co. in Chicago, who has advised farmers, food companies and investors for 29 years. Harvests of corn and soybeans also are likely to fall, Basse said.

Smaller crops risk reviving prices of farm commodities that sank from records in 2008 after a six-year rally that spurred inflation and sparked riots from Asia to the Caribbean. Futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade show wheat will jump 16 percent by the end of 2009, corn will rise 15 percent and soybeans will gain 3 percent.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:26 AM   #746
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http://cryptome.org/tsa-fire-iid.pdf

TSA documentation on Incendiary devices.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:12 AM   #747
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http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com...810270323/1002

Coleman is probably the most well-known current cryptozoologist. He has made many field expeditions, done extensive research and written several books.

The Buru is a large, unknown lizard thought by some to have lived in the remote valleys of the Himalayas of Assam in the northeast corner of India. Coleman further mentioned that the reptile was approximately 15 to 20 feet in length, aquatic by nature, and emitted hoarse bellowing calls. He mentioned that the journalist, Ralph Izzard, among others, had led an expedition in 1948 in search of the Buru.

Izzard's journal was later published as "The Hunt for the Buru" in 1951. Coleman also stated that they had failed to uncover any solid evidence of the creature. However, there was enough testimony from earlier encounters to persuade the father of cryptozoology, Bernard Heuvelman, that these lizards might be only recently extinct.

After reading about the Buru, I was excited to learn more, so I Googled the term. Wikipedia identified the Buru as an aquatic reptile living in the Ziro Valley of Arunachal Peradesh in Northeastern India. Professor Christopher Von Furer-Haimendorf was the first Westerner to be told about this reptile. It was thought at the time that Buru might have already gone extinct in the valley.

According to the Apatani elders, when their forefathers migrated from Tibet to the Ziro Valley, the valley was primarily a marsh that was populated by many Burus. The Apatani people decided to settle in the valley because of its fertility and good climate. However, on occasion, confrontations with the Burus presented a problem. As a result, the Apatani Indian tribe drained the marsh of its water and apparently might have eliminated the Burus. Most of the Burus died because of the drainage and many supposedly went underground into the springs.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:15 AM   #748
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5019976.ece

The average Viking lived a life in which spirituality and thoughts of immortality played a far more important part than the rape and pillage more usually associated with his violent race, according to new research. A study of thousands of excavated Viking graves suggests that rituals were performed at the graveside in which stories about life and death were presented as theatre, with live performances designed to help the passage of the deceased from this world into the next.

Neil Price, Chair of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen, who will be presenting his findings at a lecture at the university tonight, believes that these rituals may have been the early beginnings of the Norse sagas, which told stories about men and gods in the pagan world. He said that close study of the graves and the artefacts they contained, as well as contemporary accounts of Viking funerals, presented a far more complex picture of their lives than the simple myth of the Viking raider.

Detailed analysis of the burials revealed a remarkable variety of objects found alongside the bodies - from everyday items to great longships, wagons and sledges, together with animals of many different species and even human sacrifices.

Professor Price said: “Close analysis of Viking burials not only gives us an insight into the workings of their minds, but most importantly how slim they perceived the boundaries to be between life and death, and between humans and animals.”

He said that the burial rituals suggested the Vikings had no defined religion, but instead made up a set of spiritual beliefs, which were then acted out at the graveside. These became a form of theatre that predates the sagas and may have contained the origins of Norse mythology - the inspiration for Wagner's operas.

Professor Price said: “There seem to have been something like stage directions dictating how these rituals were to be enacted. Eyewitness accounts suggest that there were as many as ten days of ritual, with enormous time and effort put into the performances.”

The artefacts buried with the dead varied enormously. “No two graves were the same,” he said. Some bore evidence of a military career, with whole ships containing the corpse left open. Other graves were found to have had animal remains - one had no fewer than 20 decapitated horses - and occasionally there were human remains as well. Some Vikings were buried with their wives and families, others were laid to rest in more simple single graves.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...pillaging.html

But Cambridge University has launched a campaign to recast them as "new men" with an interest in grooming, fashion and poetry.

Academics claim that the old stereotype is damaging, and want teenagers to be more appreciative of the Vikings' social and cultural impact on Britain.

They say that the Norse explorers, far from being obsessed with fighting and drinking, were a largely-peaceful race who were even criticised for being too hygienic.

The university's department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic has published a guide revealing how much of the Vikings' history has been misrepresented.

They did not, in fact, wear horned or winged helmets. And they appear to have been a vain race who were concerned about their appearance.

"It seems that the Vikings may not have been as hairy and dirty as is commonly imagined," the guide says.

"A medieval chronicler, John of Wallingford, talking about the eleventh century, complained that the Danes were too clean - they combed their hair every day, washed every Saturday, and changed their clothes regularly."

The guide reveals that Norsemen were also stylish trend-setters: "Contemporaries who met individual Vikings were struck by the extreme bagginess of their trousers.

"A tenth-century Persian explorer described trousers (of Vikings in Russia) that were made of one hundred cubits of material, and a number of runestones depict warriors with flared breeches."

The traditional view of the Vikings as "illiterate warring thugs" exaggerates considerably the reality of their life, the academics argue.

"Although Norse men and women may have sometimes liked fighting and drinking, and were sometimes buried with weapons, they also spent much of their time in peaceful activities such as farming, building, writing and illustrating."

The guide points out that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a contemporary list of notable events beginning in the ninth century and running through to the twelfth, records some battles, but not for every year.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:16 AM   #749
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http://www.astigan.com/2008/10/29/al...wedish-waters/



(Astigan.com) — A round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) was caught in late July off the Swedish coast near Karlskrona. This is the first find of its kind in Sweden.

The species, which originates from the Black Sea and probably spread to the Baltic via ballast water, has been found in the Gulf of Gdansk since 1990, in the southern Baltic. Today it is one of the most common coastal fishes there, so it was expected that it would show up in Swedish waters sooner or later, according to researcher Gustaf Almqvist of Stockholm University.

Göran Pettersson is the man behind the sensational catch, which he made as he was bottom angling for perch in Saltsösund outside Karlskrona. Göran, who is from Sibbehult in Scania, has experienced many fish catches in the waters surrounding Karlskrona, but he had never seen this species before. He was even more surprised when, later that day, he caught three more of them.

“I’m interested in fishing, and after having compared them with pictures on the Internet and from an account in the magazine Svensk Fiske (Swedish Fishing), I immediately understood that what I had pulled in were round gobies,” says Göran Pettersson.

Göran alertly froze one of the fish and reported the find to the Swedish Board of Fisheries Coastal Laboratory, which then conveyed the find to Gustaf Almqvist at Stockholm University, who, together with Sven Kullander of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, was able to confirm that it was indeed a round goby. It was a 96 mm long male that was estimated to be two, or at most three, years old.

“It was only to be expected that it would become established in Swedish waters sooner or later. Roe and fry can be spread via ballast water. It’s logical that the first specimen was found in Karlskrona considering the intensive boat traffic between Karlskrona and Polish waters,” says Gustaf Almqvist, who defended his doctoral dissertation on the round goby at Stockholm University earlier this year.

In his dissertation he showed how the round goby has become one of the most colorful features of the southern Baltic in less than three decades. The fish primarily feeds on mussels. It can be 30 cm long and is a popular food fish in its original home region. The species has rapidly adapted to Baltic conditions and locally can dominate coastal fish populations. This has also meant that they compete with domestic bottom-dwelling fishes, and studies have shown that it can edge out the European flounder from certain areas. It has also become an important component in the diet of key predatory fishes such as cod and perch, and during some part of the year can constitute the most important prey for these fishes. Since the other prey of these predators do not feed on sea mussels to any great extent, the round goby is a new link between mussels and predatory fishes.

It is too early to determine whether these are merely a few stray specimens or whether the species has truly become established in Blekinge.

“Since the round goby winters in deeper waters, where they are harder to catch, targeted survey fishing probably can’t get underway until spring. The fish may very well already exist in other areas along the Swedish coast, especially in harbor areas with especially intensive trade relations with the southern Baltic,” says Gustaf Almqvist.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #750
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Cyprus officials search for mystery 'monster'
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