Russian News Anchor Can’t Keep Straight Face For BC Pot Story

10:24:14 PM, Wednesday, June 01, 2011

-- Old, but hilarious.

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Fur - Lackadaisical

10:06:21 PM, Wednesday, June 01, 2011
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North Korean 'Global Happiness Index' Ranks China No. 1, USA Dead Last

10:16:06 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"China is the happiest place on earth(!!) according to a new global happiness index released by North Korea's Chosun Central Television. China earned 100 out of 100 points, followed closely by North Korea (98 points), then Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela. Coming in at 203rd place is America (or rather "the American Empire", 美帝国), with only 3 happiness points. South Korea got a measly 18 points for 152nd place.

While their representative representatives might not show the vivacity on their faces (and a few slip ups might have been caught on video) I guess China's been right to gush about Pyongyang's future. Nothing says happy like government-issued proclamations of happiness."

-- GOVERNMENT SAY EVERYBODY HAPPY IN NORTH KOREA

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Miracle Blue Goo Used To Decontaminate Japan’s Nuclear Disaster

9:53:01 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"It looks like Smurf blood and it may keep Japan safe from nuclear waste. DeconGel is a liquid polymer that can spread easily on almost any surface. As it hardens it traps hazardous materials, including radioactive particles, and then easily peels away for disposal. CBI Polymers, the creators of DeconGel, recently donated ten pallets of the polymer to aid in Japan’s decontamination of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site – a $250,000 gift when you include the labor of the experts and support staff that will be tagging along. DeconGel’s lightweight and easy to use approach to cleaning up radioactive waste could go a long way to restoring the Fukushima prefecture. Watch CNN’s coverage of the DeconGel donation in the video below, followed by a quick demonstration of the gel being used in more mundane situations. Discovered by accident, DeconGel is another great example of the plethora of advanced materials waiting for humanity to find and use in the future.

It’s hard to imagine a better list of properties you’d want in a decontaminate than you find in DeconGel. It adheres to almost any surface, including porous ones, and bonds tightly around particles and oils. This effectively traps any waste (hazardous or otherwise) within the substrate. While it doesn’t actually chemically or radioactively neutralize the materials it contains, it does make them exponentially easier to remove, and without the use of water or soaps. While multiple layers are recommended for heavy clean up operations, like those at Fukushima, the resulting coating is still very lightweight, with an eight pound gallon of the gel being able to cover up to 100 square feet of surface..."

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Disguised As A School

12:14:07 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

-- A pedophile disguised as a school is gettin kids everywhere!

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Cosmic Explosion Is New Candidate for Most Distant Object in the Universe

1:28:56 AM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — A gamma-ray burst detected by NASA's Swift satellite in April 2009 has been newly unveiled as a candidate for the most distant object in the universe. At an estimated distance of 13.14 billion light years, the burst lies far beyond any known quasar and could be more distant than any previously known galaxy or gamma-ray burst. Multiple lines of evidence in favor of a record-breaking distance for this burst, known as GRB 090429B for the 29 April 2009 date when it was discovered, are presented in a paper by an international team of astronomers led by former Penn State University graduate student Antonino Cucchiara, now at the University of California, Berkeley.

The paper has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

The gigantic burst of gamma rays erupted from an exploding star when the universe was less than 4% of its present age, just 520 million years old, and less than 10% of its present size. "The galaxy hosting the progenitor star of GRB 090429B was truly one of the first galaxies in the universe," said Derek Fox, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a co-author of the paper. "Beyond the possible cosmic distance record, GRB 090429B illustrates how gamma-ray bursts can be used to reveal the locations of massive stars in the early universe and to track the processes of early galaxy and star formation that eventually led to the galaxy-rich cosmos we see around us today."

Gamma-ray bursts, the brightest explosions known, occur somewhere within the observable universe at a rate of about two per day. Thanks to their extreme brightness, gamma-ray bursts can be detected by Swift and other satellite observatories even when they occur at distances of billions of light years. While the bursts themselves last for minutes at most, their fading "afterglow" light remains observable from premier astronomical facilities for days to weeks. Detailed studies of the afterglow during this time, when feasible, allow astronomers to measure the distance to the burst..."

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Skin patch could cure peanut allergy

12:54:10 AM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A revolutionary skin patch that may cure thousands of deadly peanut allergy has been developed by paediatricans.

Researchers believe it presents one of the best possible ways of finding an effective treatment for a life threatening reaction to peanuts.

Developed by two leading paediatricians the device releases minute doses of peanut oil under the skin.

The aim is to educate the body so it doesnt over-react to peanut exposure.

Human safety trials have started in Europe and the United States and it is hoped that the patch could become become available within 3-4 years.

One of its two French inventors, Dr Pierre-Henri Benhamou, said: We envisage that the patch would be worn daily for several years and would slowly reduce the severity of accidental exposure to peanut...

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Moon Water — And Lots of it

12:19:41 AM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"There is water inside the moon—so much, in fact, that in some places it rivals the amount of water found within the Earth.

The finding comes from the first measurements of water in lunar melt inclusions. Those measurements show that some parts of the lunar mantle have as much water as the Earth’s upper mantle.

Lunar melt inclusions are tiny globules of molten rock trapped within crystals that are found in volcanic glass deposits formed during explosive eruptions. The new finding, published this week in Science Express, shows lunar magma water contents 100 times higher than previous studies have suggested.

The result is the culmination of years of investigation by the team searching for water and other volatiles in volcanic glasses returned by NASA Apollo missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In a paper in Nature in 2008, the same team led by Alberto Saal, associate professor of geological sciences at Brown University, reported the first evidence for the presence of water and used models to estimate how much water was originally in the magmas before eruption.

“The bottom line,” said Saal, an author on the Science Express paper and the principal investigator on the research grants, “is that in 2008, we said the primitive water content in the lunar magmas should be similar to the water content in lavas coming from the Earth’s depleted upper mantle. Now, we have proven that is indeed the case.”

The new finding got a critical assist from a Brown undergraduate student, Thomas Weinreich, who found the melt inclusions that allowed the team to measure the pre-eruption concentration of water in the magma and to estimate the amount of water in the Moon’s interior..."

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Clinton, Ryan Caught On Tape On Medicare Cuts

9:54:28 PM, Sunday, May 29, 2011

-- Not all that surprising really.

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I’m Just a Cat and I’m Doing Cat Stuff

9:38:10 PM, Sunday, May 29, 2011
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Seismologists Tried for Manslaughter for Not Predicting Earthquake

1:03:27 PM, Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Earthquake prediction can be a grave, and faulty science, and in the case of Italian seismologists who are being tried for the manslaughter of the people who died in the 2009 L'Aquila quake, it can have legal consequences.

The group of seven, including six seismologists and a government official, reportedly didn't alert the public ahead of time of the risk of the L'Aquila earthquake, which occurred on April 6 of that year, killing around 300 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

But most scientists would agree it's not their fault they couldn't predict the wrath of Mother Nature.

"We're not able to predict earthquakes very well at all," John Vidale, a Washington State seismologist and professor at the University of Washington, told LiveScience.

Even though advances have been made, the day scientists are able to forecast earthquakes is still "far away," Dimitar Ouzounov, a professor of earth sciences at Chapman University in California, said this month regarding the prediction of the March 11 earthquake in Japan..."

-- WTH

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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Monsters of IC 1396

1:49:16 AM, Saturday, May 28, 2011

-- "Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of the glowing gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The entire nebula might even look like a face of a monster. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to be dangerous. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule at the top right of the image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the IC 1396 complex is relatively faint and covers a region on the sky with an apparent width of more than 10 full moons. Recently, over 100 young stars have been discovered forming in the nebula. "

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Satellite Images Provide Blueprint for Ancient Egypt

1:41:17 AM, Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Satellites orbiting 400 miles above earth have revealed numerous hidden ancient sites across Egypt, including 17 pyramids, 1,000 tombs and 3,100 settlements, the BBC reported this week. The pioneering project, which fused cutting-edge infrared imaging with the historically low-tech field of archaeology, was funded by a grant from the BBC and spearheaded by Sarah Parcak, an Egyptologist and assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

For more than a year, Parcak and her team scanned giant swaths of Egypt with a combination of NASA and commercial satellites, using techniques they had developed on a smaller scale and previously employed in regions in the South Sinai, East Delta and Middle Egypt. “The thing that was new for me was that I had never before been able to apply the technology over a broad area and test it on different environments and sites,” Parcak explained. “We scaled up our methodology across Egypt.”

The contours of ancient Egyptian homes and other buildings appear in infrared imagery because they were constructed from mud brick, a dense material that stands out from surrounding soil. As a result, the satellite images showed both known archaeological sites that have been studied and excavated for decades and other ancient treasures ostensibly buried deep beneath the sand. When Parcak and her colleagues pinpointed famous pyramids captured by the cameras, for instance, they also spotted similar-looking structures nearby, an indication that our inventory of ancient Egypt’s most iconic architectural marvels is incomplete. “For me, the exciting part is the possibility,” Parcak said. “We just don’t know what these things might be, but we know there’s something there..."”

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Project Acoustic Kitty: How the CIA Failed at Using Cats as Spies

3:10:46 PM, Friday, May 27, 2011

"Cats are perfect spies. They're small, they're stealthy, and they excel at seducing humans, who can't help but pet them while blathering on about state secrets. This is exactly why the CIA decided to implant listening devices into cats and train them to go where they were told. This is no joke, it's Project Acoustic Kitty.

The CIA chose a grey and white adult female cat to be its first agent under Project Acoustic Kitty. Rigging the cat to record audio was the easy part of the program: a 3/4 inch transmitter was embedded in its skull, with a microphone hidden in its ear canal. The antenna ran all the way along the cat's back to its tail, underneath the fur. Short battery life meant that the cat couldn't spend too long on any one mission, but as it turned out, that was one of the least limiting factors of the whole business.

As you might expect, training the cat to do as she was told was not an easy task. While it was possible to get her to move in a specific direction or go to a specific location in a structured indoor environment, once they brought her outside, she was hopeless. That is to say, she did exactly what her trainers wanted, unless she got bored. Or distracted. Or hungry. And, being a cat, she was at least one (if not more) of those things a large portion of the time.

Apparently, her hunger issues were somehow "addressed with another operation," and her training was intensified until the CIA was reasonably confident (or however confident they could possibly be) that the cat was capable of actually going where she was told. All told, the program had taken about $20 million and five years, but Acoustic Kitty was finally ready for deployment..."

-- Kan I haz spy-kitteh?

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Patriot Act Extension Signed By Obama

2:24:32 PM, Friday, May 27, 2011

"WASHINGTON — Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.

Congress sent the bill to the president with only hours to go on Thursday before the provisions expired at midnight. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused.

The Senate voted 72-23 for the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities. The House passed the measure 250-153 on an evening vote.

A short-term expiration would not have interrupted ongoing operations but would have barred the government from seeking warrants for new investigations..."

-- Change we can believe in. Typical.

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