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Old 11-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #951
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...rss&nsref=tech

It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:24 AM   #952
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...html?full=true

Why the universe may be teeming with aliens

WANTED: Rocky planet outside of our solar system. Must not be too hot or too cold, but just the right temperature to support life.

It sounds like a simple enough wish list, but finding a planet that fulfils all of these criteria has kept astronomers busy for decades. Until recently, it meant finding a planet in the "Goldilocks zone" - orbiting its star at just the right distance to keep surface water liquid rather than being boiled off or frozen solid.

Now, though, it's becoming increasingly clear that the question of what makes a planet habitable is not as simple as finding it in just the right spot. Many other factors, including a planet's mass, atmosphere, composition and the way it orbits its nearest star, can all influence whether it can sustain liquid water, an essential ingredient for life as we know it. As astronomers explore newly discovered planets and create computer simulations of virtual worlds, they are discovering that water, and life, might exist on all manner of weird worlds where conditions are very different from those on Earth. And that means there could be vastly more habitable planets out there than we thought possible. "It's like science fiction, only better," says Raymond Pierrehumbert, a climate scientist at the University of Chicago, who studies planets inside and outside of our solar system.

Distance from the nearest star is, of course, important. In our own solar system, Venus has long served as an example of what can happen if a planet gets too close to its star. Venus is only 28 per cent closer to the sun than Earth is, but its surface is a sweltering 460 °C, hot enough to melt lead, and it chokes under a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere 90 times the density of Earth's.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:25 AM   #953
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http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N18296670.htm

Head of Interpol Mexico arrested for drug ties
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:34 AM   #954
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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news...t/1366797.aspx

e=mc2: 103 years later, Einstein's proven right

It's taken more than a century, but Einstein's celebrated formula e=mc2 has finally been corroborated, thanks to a heroic computational effort by French, German and Hungarian physicists.

A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France's Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world's mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms.

According to the conventional model of particle physics, protons and neutrons comprise smaller particles known as quarks, which in turn are bound by gluons.

The odd thing is this: the mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five percent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 percent?

The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons.

In other words, energy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:35 AM   #955
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1119122634.htm

Darwin Was Right About How Evolution Can Affect Whole Group

ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2008) — Worker ants of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your fertility. The highly specialized worker castes in ants represent the pinnacle of social organization in the insect world. As in any society, however, ant colonies are filled with internal strife and conflict. So what binds them together? More than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin had an idea and now he's been proven right.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:35 AM   #956
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/25/sc...ce&oref=slogin

Invasive Plants in Galápagos May Really Be Native
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:36 AM   #957
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...es-amazon.html

Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible?

Centuries-old European explorers' tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization.

But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.

(See Ancient Amazon Cities Found; Were Vast Urban Network [August 28, 2008].)

Now scientists are trying to recreate the recipe for the apparently human-made supersoil, which still covers up to 10 percent of the Amazon Basin. Key ingredients included of dirt, charcoal, pottery, human excrement and other waste.

If recreated, the engineered soil could feed the hungry and may even help fight global warming, experts suggest.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:37 AM   #958
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http://www.reuters.com/article/envir...4AK1J220081121

China's crops at risk from massive erosion
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:41 AM   #959
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/wo...ummy.html?_r=1

The Dead Tell a Tale China Doesn’t Care to Listen To

URUMQI, China — An exhibit on the first floor of the museum here gives the government’s unambiguous take on the history of this border region: “Xinjiang has been an inalienable part of the territory of China,” says one prominent sign.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:42 AM   #960
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http://www.livescience.com/space/081...milky-way.html


Bursts Spotted at Milky Way's Black Hole

By SPACE.com staff

posted: 18 November 2008 12:53 pm ET
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:43 AM   #961
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Plumbing the oceans could bring limitless clean energy

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...html?full=true
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:44 AM   #962
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http://www.physorg.com/news146398685.html

How Time-Traveling Could Affect Quantum Computing By Lisa Zyga, Physics / Physics (PhysOrg.com) -- If space-time were constructed in such a way that you could travel back in time, it would create some pretty strange effects. One of these oddities, as many people know, is the “grandfather paradox.” Here, a person travels back in time to kill their grandfather before the person’s father is born, thus preventing their own birth.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #963
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ity-cloak.html

Invisibility Cloak "Feasible Now"
Richard A. Lovett
for National Geographic News
November 20, 2008

The latest milestone in the quest for a Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak has been reached: a way of bending the geometry of space so that light from all directions travels around an object, rather than hitting it.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #964
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pict...n-history.html

History's greatest conspiracy theories
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:33 AM   #965
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7740484.stm

IBM has announced it will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make electronic circuits that mimic brains.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:34 AM   #966
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http://magicalnihilism.wordpress.com...le-my-volcano/

Magical Nihilism
Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:38 AM   #967
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http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/...rly-steal.html

Nearly 20 years of stagnant to falling wages, threadbare social safety nets, and no returns on savings has produced a retiree class in Japan struggling to make ends meet. Good reason to worry at the sight of the US cribbing heavily from the Japanese playbook.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...es/4578916.stm

Gangs of men are hunting wild deer for sport and may be selling the meat to people on Teesside.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:40 AM   #968
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/17/wo...o.html?_r=2&hp

For More of Mexico’s Wealthy, Cost of Living Includes Guards

Rich Mexicans spend more on bodyguards as security deteriorates. Excellent quote by a Mexican businessman: “One bodyguard, two bodyguards, even three of them can’t do anything with these criminals, who come in groups of 20 with high-powered arms. If they want to hunt you down, they will get you.” This is going to be a gold mine of an industry in the US by early in the next decade.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:16 AM   #969
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http://www.portlandmercury.com/news/...ent?oid=862344

Selling Scientology
A Former Scientologist Marketing Guru Turns Against the Church
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:17 AM   #970
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http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/...rica/intel.php

U.S. report predicts decline for Al Qaeda
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:19 AM   #971
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http://www.theagitator.com/2008/11/2...own-over-peru/

New Report: CIA Lied About Missionary Plane Shot Down Over Peru
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:20 AM   #972
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http://www.technoccult.com/archives/...n-walled-city/

TAZ History: Kowloon Walled City
November 21st, 2008 by Justin Boland

“There were only two rules for construction: electricity had to be provided to avoid fire, and the buildings could be no more than fourteen stories high, because of the nearby airport.”

When I was 17, I started constantly re-reading Hakim Bey’s TAZ, or as I like to call it, “His Only Good Book.” I had no problem with Jonathan Kozol, but Peter Lamborn Wilson builds a sentence like Turkish Muslims build a shrine. Before I discovered the playground of “Academic Critical Theory,” from Marshall McLuhan to Manuel de Landa, TAZ was the most dense language artifact I’d ever seen.

Even then, though, I wondered why Hakim Bey didn’t discuss the only real “TAZ” I could think of - the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. “Kowloon” means “Nine Dragons,” and you can only visit the ruins today. After an eviction process that took years and cost billions of Hong Kong dollars, the city was destroyed in 1993 and only a park remains. While it lasted, though, it was the closest thing to Pure Anarchy the world has seen outside of a war zone.

At it’s most overgrown peak in early 1987, Kowloon Walled City was home to 50,000 inhabitants. From 1899, these tenacious squatters had repelled the British, the Japanese and every would-be landlord and “property owner” in the history of Hong Kong. So why not make them the centerpiece of the book?

I’ve since come to realize it’s because he was writing a personal historical fantasy, not a tactical or practical guide. Although Kowloon truly was a Temporary Autonomous Zone, and it’s a cool idea to read and think about, it truly sucked to live there. This is best summed up by Coilhouse’s conclusion:

Yes, the anarchistic types out there are correct when they say that the Walled City is evidence that humans can co-exist, and even thrive, without laws constantly piled on them. But it’s not that simple. After all, without massive police raids (government incarnate), the place would have probably become a mob-run tyranny. Its residents had a degree of freedom that anyone who comes home to piles of bills or endless forms can’t help but envy. They also had darkness, a lower life expectancy, filthy living conditions and huge numbers of drug addicts.

But if the Walled City is a reminder that lawlessness isn’t quite as cleanly romantic as some might think, it also reminds us that a staggering number of societies are possible “� and that every one of them has a price.

It’s also worth meditating on how Kowloon came to achieve their “hands-off” status: by kicking up such a profound ****-storm of noise and problems, every single time someone tried to exert their authority, that everyone in power simply gave up. As David Robinson puts it in his great Tofu Magazine piece, “British policy came to regard Walled City as something of a hornets nest “� best not to be kicked unless absolutely necessary.”

Perhaps the lesson here is that there are no little things when it comes to defending your freedom. If either of those words are supposed to mean something, there are no acceptable tradeoffs or reasonable comprimises.

FURTHER READING: The best narrative summary is from Coilhouse, and the Wiki is surprisingly dense. My Father Lived in Kowloon City, and the hilariously mis-translated but quite interesting story of a Japanese expedition into the city the week before it was demolished in 1993. If you’re interesting in more photos, more information, and more pages to scroll through, then say hello the Skyscraper Forum, who have collected pretty much all there is to know in one thread.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:23 AM   #973
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http://www.technoccult.com/archives/...of-a-lifetime/

Obama Haters: You’re Missing the Opportunity of a Lifetime
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:26 AM   #974
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Brain worms...yes...brain worms

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:35 AM   #975
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Claire Bates, Daily Mail: A spectacular and almost blindingly bright meteor sparked a flurry of emergency calls to the police after it lit up the skies over western Canada. Onlookers across the province of Alberta watched in awe, describing a kaleidoscope of colours as the rock rapidly descended.

'At first I thought it was fireworks,' farmer Marcel Gobeil said. 'I've never seen anything like it; it was green and blue and then turned to bright red. It was pretty big.'

Emergency services across the region began receiving calls from 5.30pm on Thursday, with some also reporting hearing a distant 'boom.' And the police had no reason to doubt the claims. A video camera on one of their local patrol cars had captured the whole dramatic episode.

As the vehicle cruises down a street the footage shows a small bright light appearing in the sky before hurtling towards the Earth disappearing in an explosion of light just five seconds later.
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