Minn. Metrodome Roof Collapse Video
2:42 PM, Sunday, December 12, 2010
-- As many of you have probably already heard the inflatable roof of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium collapsed this Sunday after a storm that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas crawled across the region. What you might have not seen yet, is this footage, from inside of the stadium, of the roof collapsing.
Vatican Bank Mired in Laundering Scandal
2:03 PM, Sunday, December 12, 2010
"VATICAN CITY – This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.
Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it's under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize euro23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the "Vatican Bank" has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal.
The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a "misunderstanding" and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents show that prosecutors say the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws "with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital." The documents also reveal investigators' suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia.
The documents pinpoint two transactions that have not been reported: one in 2009 involving the use of a false name, and another in 2010 in which the Vatican Bank withdrew euro650,000 ($860 million) from an Italian bank account but ignored bank requests to disclose where the money was headed.
The new allegations of financial impropriety could not come at a worse time for the Vatican, already hit by revelations that it sheltered pedophile priests. The corruption probe has given new hope to Holocaust survivors who tried unsuccessfully to sue in the United States, alleging that Nazi loot was stored in the Vatican Bank.
Yet the scandal is hardly the first for the centuries-old bank. In 1986, a Vatican financial adviser died after drinking cyanide-laced coffee in prison. Another was found dangling from a rope under London's Blackfriars Bridge in 1982, his pockets stuffed with money and stones. The incidents blackened the bank's reputation, raised suspicions of ties with the Mafia, and cost the Vatican hundreds of millions of dollars in legal clashes with Italian authorities..."
Beijing Architect Lives in Egg-Shaped House on Sidewalk
11:40 PM, Saturday, December 11, 2010
"Dai Haifei, a 24-year-old architect in Beijing, China, found an ingenious solution to live rent-free. He built himself a mobile egg-shaped house that is powered by the sun.
The 6-foot-high structure, which is small enough to fit on a sidewalk, is made of bamboo strips, wood chippings, sack bags, and grass seed that's expected to grow in the spring.
The pod features a solar panel on the roof that powers a lamp in the cozy space. The house cost around $1,000 to build (6427 yen), according to China Daily.
It seems Haifei has taken the trend of living in tiny spaces to a whole new level."
-- Where's the bathroom and kitchen though?! On the other hand, I hate rent, so with the egg placement in the right location, the deficiencies could be overcome. Lots of eating out!
Lost Civilization May Have Existed Beneath the Persian Gulf
3:58 PM, Saturday, December 11, 2010
"Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.
At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.
The study, which is detailed in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects of human history. For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with dates as early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the more recent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.
"I think Jeff's theory is bold and imaginative, and hopefully will shake things up," Robert Carter of Oxford Brookes University in the U.K. told LiveScience. "It would completely rewrite our understanding of the out-of-Africa migration. It is far from proven, but Jeff and others will be developing research programs to test the theory.".."
Chiasm - Isolated
1:28 PM, Friday, December 10, 2010
Volcano Walk by RareEarthGallery
1:23 PM, Friday, December 10, 2010
Astronomy Picture of the Day: Nebulae in the Northern Cross
12:44 PM, Friday, December 10, 2010
"Explore a beautiful and complex region of nebulae strewn along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy in this widefield skyscape. The image emphasizes cosmic gas clouds in a 25 by 25 degree view centered on the Northern Cross, the famous asterism in the constellation Cygnus. Bright, hot, supergiant star Deneb at the top of the cross, Sadr near the center, and beautiful Albireo run diagonally through the scene. Popular telescopic tour destinations such as the North America and Pelican emission regions, the Butterfly Nebula (IC 1318), and the Crescent and Veil nebulae can be identified by placing your cursor over the image. Silhouetted by the glowing interstellar clouds and crowded star fields, the dark Northern Coal Sack also stands out, part of a series of obscuring dust clouds forming the Great Rift in the Milky Way. These Northern Cross nebulosities are all located about 2,000 light-years away. Along with the Sun, they lie within the Orion spiral arm of our galaxy. "
James Franco Flirting with and Kissing James Franco
12:23 PM, Friday, December 10, 2010
-- We get it, James Franco. We get it. You think masturbation is an art, but why this particular music? via NYT
Massive Attack - Angel
6:36 AM, Friday, December 10, 2010