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Old 04-08-2011, 05:54 AM   #2376
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:55 AM   #2377
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:03 AM   #2378
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http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/07/u...cebook-twitte/



US Homeland Security Department planning to use Facebook, Twitter for terrorism alerts

It looks like we finally know what the US Department of Homeland Security plans to use instead of the now infamous color-coded terrorism alert system. According to a draft document obtained by the Associated Press, the department's new system will simply have two levels of alerts -- "elevated" and "imminent" -- and it seems those warnings will even be published online using Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate." There's no word as to exactly how those alerts will be published, however, or any indication that the two companies have actually committed to aiding the department in any way, for that matter. We should know more soon enough, though -- the new system is expected to be in place by April 27th.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:06 AM   #2379
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Biologists create self-replicating RNA molecule
from New Scientist - Online News

A nifty little molecule has brought us a step closer to the first self-replicating molecule: a key event in the origin of life
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:38 AM   #2380
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Colon cleansing course fined for toilet shortage
from Nothing To Do With Arbroath by arbroath
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The arrangers of a Hawaiian colon cleansing course in northern Sweden that worked a little too well have been fined for not having enough toilets. One of the course's female participants reported the company that arranged the course after she was forced to empty her bowels outside in front of other participants.

According to the woman, the fact there were more participants than toilets forced participants to employ a "first come, first served" policy, much to the detriment of those for whom the treatment worked less urgently. The course in Hawaiian colonic cleansing was organised at a residential study centre in Ångermanland in northern Sweden.



The centre has now been ordered to refund 1,000 kronor ($158) to the woman after she complained that not only did the toilet facilities not meet demand, the course was too short and too expensive. "The board assumes that the vast majority would prefer, and even take for granted, the possibility to defecate in private, unless otherwise apparent from the event's information," the Swedish National Board for Consumer Disputes (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden - ARN) wrote in its decision.

Hawaiian colon cleansing is a process developed by the island nation's Kahunas - taken to mean variously expert, sorcerer, magician or minister - for the radical purging of bowel plaque and acids. The cleansing process is completed by drinking large quantities of lightly-salted water and herbal concoctions over the course of several days.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #2381
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Solar Costs May Already Rival Coal, Spurring Installation
from cryptogon.com by Kevin
Barring a major wildcard event (global nuclear war, massive asteroid impact, etc.), the horror show will grind on, now with even more Clean and Green. Via: Bloomberg: Solar panel installations may surge in the next two years as the cost of generating electricity from the sun rivals coal-fueled plants, industry executives and analysts said. Large [...]
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #2382
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http://www.realitysandwich.com/trouble_vaporware

At the middle/end of this article they are discussing which types of solar hotwater heaters work best for what areas.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:53 AM   #2383
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http://inhabitat.com/ecovative-teams...rom-mushrooms/

Ecovative Teams Up With Ford to Create Compostable Car Parts from Mushrooms
by Tafline Laylin, 04/05/11
filed under: Green Materials,green packaging



Ushering in a new generation of partially compostable cars, Ecovative has teamed up with Ford to use their mushroom-based foam as a key component in bumpers, side doors, and dashboards. The best part is that the material will decompose just one month after being buried. Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer discovered that mycelia (mushroom roots) are a natural binding agent that can be combined with agricultural products such as corn and oat husks to make an incredibly durable material that can replace styrofoam and polystyrene in practically every application. Several companies from a number of industries are looking to the Green Island, NY-based startup to cook up alternative materials for their products as well — so we can finally leave polystyrene and styrofoam in our earth-loving dust.

Ecovative combines mushroom roots with corn or oat husks in trays of various sizes. These are then left to fester and furl in a dark warehouse for five days, after which the mix emerges glued together. This is then cooked and fried, and voila! a new packaging material is born. Not only is the new product biodegradable, but it is also fire and waterproof, making it an excellent substitute for polystyrene and styrofoam – the bane of every environmentalist’s existence.

The head of Ford’s plastic research department Deborah Mielewski became interested in the product, as that company hopes to replace 30 pounds of each car’s petroleum-based foams with more environmentally sensible alternatives. It turns out that Ecovative’s mushroom foam is every bit as affordable as polystyrene and styrofoam, uses very little energy, and reuses what would otherwise be agricultural waste.

The company, which has approximately 30 employees, has received a total of $4 million in grants and other funding to buoy their research and development initiatives. Other potential applications for their products include cosmetics and computer parts; a wine distributor has even solicited their genius – but we’re not allowed to know why just yet. There is a caveat: Ecovative has to overcome the challenge of maintaining a consistent density with a raw material that is a living organism, but a lot of people believe that they are going to make it work.

Read more: Ecovative Teams Up With Ford to Create Compostable Car Parts from Mushrooms | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #2384
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http://www.gizmag.com/ford-mucell-technology/18357/

Ford turns to chocolate bar to develop lighter plastic components



We've seen the world's first Formula 3 car running on a fuel derived from waste chocolate, and now engineers at Ford have turned to the tasty treat for inspiration to produce lighter plastic parts for Ford's vehicles. Plastic parts have traditionally been a difficult area to save weight without sacrificing strength and durability, but by looking to the Aero chocolate bar they have produced a lighter plastic by introducing gas bubbles into the plastic as it is molded. The result is a microscopic honeycomb structure that Ford says saves weight by reducing the amount of plastic used without compromising the integrity of the part.

Dubbed MuCell, the technology also offers speed and efficiency benefits in the manufacturing process, with lower pressures used to mold the plastic and up to 33 percent more parts produced per hour in comparison to the conventional process. This results in a reduction in energy consumption, manufacturing emissions and cost for the parts produced.

"We are saving weight in many ways, not just by using this new plastic, because lighter cars handle better, accelerate faster and stop more quickly. For the customer it is win-win, the plastic is 20 per cent lighter without increasing cost or reducing strength and it will help make their Ford better in almost every aspect," said Ford's MuCell technology expert, Carsten Starke.

Ford says the MuCell technology will make its first appearance in engine covers on vehicles such as the Focus, C-MAX, Grand C-MAX, S-MAX, Mondeo and Galaxy in the next few years. The company has committed to a minimum of 100kg weight reduction from even its smallest cars and 300kg from larger cars by 2020 to help cut emissions and fuel use.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #2385
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #2386
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #2387
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http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/inde...ns/?source=rss

McDonald’s Sets Long-Term Sustainable Beef, Coffee PlansMcDonald's has laid out a plans to move to more sustainable meat, coffee and packaging.

The company's Sustainable Land Management Commitment will require suppliers to gradually source food and materials from sustainably-managed land, though there are no specific timelines for now, and it is initially focusing just on beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil and packaging.

Those five were chosen, with the help of analysis from the World Wildlife Fund, since they have the most potential to be changed to have lower impacts. Beef, especially, has some of the biggest impacts among McDonald's foods.

In a sign of the campaign's success, John Sauven, a Greenpeace campaign director at the time—issued a statement congratulating McDonald's for using "its might to push a multi-million dollar industry towards a more sustainable future."
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:50 PM   #2388
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:16 AM   #2389
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http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/09/w...mes-more-prof/

World Bank report finds selling virtual goods in games more profitable than 'real' economy


A report commissioned by the World Bank's infoDev unit has cast fresh light on one of the more fascinating aspects of our brave new interconnected world: the virtual economy. The "third-party gaming services industry" -- where wealthy but impatient players have someone else grind away at online games for them in exchange for monetary reward -- is one of the focal points of the study, chiefly owing to it having generated revenues in the region of $3 billion in 2009 and now serving as the primary source of income for an estimated 100,000 young folks, primarily in countries like China and Vietnam. What's encouraging about these findings is that most of the revenue from such transactions ends up in the country where the virtual value is produced, which contrasts starkly with some of the more traditional international markets, such as that for coffee beans, where the study estimates only $5.5 billion of the $70 billion annual market value ever makes it back to the producing country. The research also takes an intriguing look at the emerging phenomenon of microwork, which consists of having unskilled workers doing the web's version of menial work -- checking images, transcribing bits of text, bumping up Facebook Likes (naughty!), etc. -- and could also lead to more employment opportunities for people in poorer nations. To get better acquainted with the details, check the links below or click past the break.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:19 AM   #2390
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http://designyoutrust.com/2011/04/08...n+You+Trust%29

Stop-​​motion photography by Stephen Dalton
oliver13 on 04 08 11 - 709 views ( Comments )

“Stephen Dalton’s pho­tog­ra­phy has made his name leg­endary among nature lovers and pho­tog­ra­phers the world over. By freez­ing motion with his cam­era he has unlocked the mys­ter­ies of ani­mal move­ment and this has had a stun­ning impact in the way we see nature.” Stephen has been an enthu­si­as­tic nat­u­ral­ist ever since he can remem­ber, but his inter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy did not develop until his early twen­ties. Then, after study­ing the art and sci­ence of pho­tog­ra­phy for three years in Lon­don he merged his two pas­sions to embark on a career of nature photography.

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Old 04-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #2391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemical View Post
yep, that wasn't one of my better days...
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:17 AM   #2392
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World Water Day: 15 Amazing Reasons Why Each Drop Is Precious













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Old 04-12-2011, 06:21 AM   #2393
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7 Carnivorous Wonders of the Plant World

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Old 04-12-2011, 06:36 AM   #2394
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http://journal.borderlands.com/2011/...roject-hermes/



An Introduction to Project Hermes

Quote:
In the fall of 1951 the former director of BSRA, Meade Layne, received a diagram and description of an untried electronic device whose avowed purpose was to stimulate ESP. Meade published this in the Nov—Dec 1951 Round Robin. Some of the Associates, and no doubt others, made haphazard attempts to construct a working model; but only one, Associate Ed John of San Francisco, reported any positive success with it. He claimed it worked to some degree with everyone on whom he tried it; but his report was so at variance with the failure of all the rest that nothing was really settled, one way or the other Apparently no systematic attempt was made to calibrate the variable condenser, so that uniform responses of the brain for different settings could be predicted. Nor did anyone come up with the maximum and minimum frequencies of the coils, as specified in the original diagram or in Ed John’s modifications. So in effect, in this year of 1960, we are starting from scratch in reviving Project Hermes; though your present director of BSRA hopes that electronics have come so far in eight years that the original questions can be easily answered now.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:55 AM   #2395
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011...allenged-books

Brave New World among top 10 books Americans most want banned

Huxley's vision of a totalitarian future comes third on American Library Association's list of 2010's 'most challenged' books
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:19 AM   #2396
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #2397
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http://www.realitysandwich.com/bnote...ency_baltimore

I am trying to do the same thing here.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #2398
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/the-n...mandatory-ads/

The Newest Kindle Has Mandatory Ads

Posted by moezilla on April 12, 2011

KindleIs this the free market at work – or a horrible preview of things to come?

Amazon just announced a new $114 Kindle Wireless Reading Device — $25 cheaper than any other model — but it comes with a big catch.

It’s the Kindle “with special offers,” showing sophisticated advertisements in the screensavers, along with shopping discounts which display at the bottom of the screen.
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Posted in: Advertising, Book Publishing, Books, Kindle, Technology
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:48 PM   #2399
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/04/livin...world-of-lies/

Living In A World Of Lies

Posted by Joshua Davis on April 10, 2011
Pinocchio by Jim Dine. Photo: Mrkgrd (CC)

Pinocchio by Jim Dine. Photo: Mrkgrd (CC)

Lies have an interesting quality. Repeated often enough, lies become accepted as truth, and it must be said that our lives and our minds are filled with them. Filled with half-truths that are also half-lies, credulously accepted though unfounded rumors, filled with the lies of advertisers sowing insecurity and selling false satisfaction. But not all lies are created equal, some lies are useful, even necessary.

Our physical perception of the world is a kind of lie. Where science tells us there are swarms of swirling electrons, protons and neutrons we see a table or a dog. Our eyes lie to us by omission, registering only a narrow spectrum of all the light streaming into them. These are what we might call necessary and useful lies, simplifications of the truth that allow us to make sense of and interact with the world around us.

But many lies are not so benign. Consider the lies that most of us accept about personal success and happiness. We could sum these up with a catch-phrase from 1980’s pop culture: “Greed is good.”

This is a succinct summation of economic thought in its current, mainstream variety. Economists assume that the world would work best if everyone tried to maximize their individual utility, where “utility” means, essentially, money and stuff. If everyone tries to accumulate as much wealth as they can, competing with everyone else for scarce resources, then everything will automatically work out for the best, as if guided by “an invisible hand.”

In reality, greed leads to unnatural shortages, as some people capture and hoard vast amounts of wealth, while many more are left to scratch out an existence from the ever-dwindling remains. Greed leads to ill will among people: callousness in those who are successful in their hoarding and resentment in those left out.

Greed is not good, as pretty much every religion has been telling us for millennia. It’s a little embarrassing that they have to tell us at all, and even more so that we so often refuse to listen.

Some lies are more subtle, like the lies we tell ourselves about our own powerlessness. We see the news filled with natural disasters and human suffering, wars, corruption, and social and environmental devastation, and we think we can do nothing, or at least not very much. We give a little bit to the Red Cross or United Way and think that we’ve done all we can. But this is a lie.

We live in a rich country where many of us have much more than we need, but rather than use our personal resources to improve the world, we buy an iPad and have discussions about what the government should do or what some corporation should do. We rely on those “in power” to fix things, denying that we ourselves have power. We undermine our power by squandering it on mindless indulgences and we deny having it because we are frightened of the responsibility that having it implies. We all remember what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

We have the power, much more than we like to admit, to make the world a profoundly better place. But if we are to exercise this power we will need to re-evaluate our lives, reconsider what it is that truly leads to happiness, recognize the oft-repeated lies of our culture for what they are: lies. The truth is inevitably more complex than the lie, and this can be frightening, but we must be courageous if we are indeed concerned for the fate of our fellow humans, for our brother and sister creatures and for the planet that we all share. If we are concerned with freedom, with recognizing and reclaiming our own power, we must be relentless in exposing and rejecting lies wherever they may be, whether plastered across a billboard or hidden in the recesses of our own hearts.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #2400
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http://kookscience.tumblr.com/post/4...-event-horizon

http://kookscience.tumblr.com/photo/...0329vct1qa5pif


Vyacheslav I. Dokuchaev asks “Is there life inside black holes?” in a recent research paper, speculating that “advanced civilizations may inhabit the interiors of supermassive black holes, being invisible from the outside and basking in the light of the central singularity and orbital photons.” This thought experiment reminds us of the hypothesis that we could be living inside a black hole, and what better place to hide from prying eyes and unwanted attention?

Image: “A Race Round a Black Hole”, via NASA.
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