Syrian Tanks 'Bombard City Residents'

4:07:32 PM, Tuesday, May 17, 2011
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657 New Islands Discovered Worldwide

11:10:04 PM, Monday, May 16, 2011

"Here's something you don't see every day — hundreds of new islands have been discovered around the world.

The Earth has 657 more barrier islands than previously thought, according to a new global survey by researchers from Duke University and Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

The researchers identified a total of 2,149 barrier islands worldwide using satellite images, topographical maps and navigational charts. The new total is significantly higher than the 1,492 islands identified in a 2001 survey conducted without the aid of publicly available satellite imagery.

Barrier islands often form as chains of long, low, narrow offshore deposits of sand and sediment, running parallel to a coast but separated from it by bays, estuaries or lagoons. Unlike stationary landforms, barrier islands build up, erode, migrate and rebuild over time in response to waves, tides, currents and other physical processes in the open ocean environment.

All told, the world's barrier islands measure about 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) in length. They are found along all continents except Antarctica and in all oceans, and they make up roughly 10 percent of the Earth's continental shorelines. The northern hemisphere is home to 74 percent of these islands.

Barrier islands help protect low-lying mainland coasts against erosion and storm damage, and can be important wildlife habitats. The nation with the most barrier islands is the United States, with 405, including those along the Alaskan Arctic shoreline.

"This provides proof that barrier islands exist in every climate and in every tide-wave combination," said study team member Orrin H. Pilkey of Duke University. "We found that everywhere there is a flat piece of land next to the coast, a reasonable supply of sand, enough waves to move sand or sediment about, and a recent sea-level rise that caused a crooked shoreline, barrier islands exist...""

-- Forgot to share this! So when Guam capsizes the people will have somewhere to live! Woot!

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Dog Jumping Repeatedly To See Baby

10:43:50 PM, Monday, May 16, 2011

-- MUST. EAT. BABY.

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Supreme Court Gives Police a New Entryway Into Homes

4:59:52 PM, Monday, May 16, 2011

"The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into residences in search of illegal drugs.

The justices in an 8-1 decision said officers who loudly knock on a door and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

Residents who "attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame" when police burst in, said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

In a lone dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case will give police an easy way to ignore the 4th Amendment. "Police officers may not knock, listen and then break the door down," she said, without violating the 4th Amendment.

In the past, the court has said police usually may not enter a home unless they have a search warrant or the permission of the owner. As Alito said, "The 4th Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house."

One exception to that rule involves an emergency, such as screams coming from a house. Police may also pursue a fleeing suspect who enters a residence. Police were attempting to do that in the Kentucky case, but they entered the wrong apartment, raising the issue of what is permissible in situations where police have reason to believe evidence is being destroyed.

It began when police in Lexington, Ky., were following a suspect who allegedly had sold crack cocaine to an informer and then walked into an apartment building. They did not see which apartment he entered, but when they smelled marijuana smoke come from one of the apartments, they wrongly assumed he had gone into that one. They pounded on the door and called "Police. Police. Police," and heard the sounds of people moving."

-- Thank you Supreme Court. Knowing Police now have the right to perform warrant-less searches makes me feel so much safer than having that 4th amendment.

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Endeavour Lifts Off on Its Final Flight

3:17:58 PM, Monday, May 16, 2011

"KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — With Gabrielle Giffords, the wounded Arizona congresswoman, watching from a wheelchair, the shuttle Endeavour lifted off Monday morning on a mission to pry secrets from the universe.

At 8:56 a.m. Eastern time, the spacecraft rose slowly on a pillar of fire, picking up speed and eventually disappearing from view as it stabbed through a layer of clouds on its way to orbit. Commanding the six-man crew was Capt. Mark E. Kelly, Ms. Giffords’ husband.

The congresswoman, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in January, watched in private with other crew members’ families and said “Good stuff, good stuff” as the shuttle rocketed away, according to her chief of staff, Pia Carusone. Captain Kelly’s twin brother, Scott, who is also an astronaut, gave a bouquet of roses to Ms. Giffords, who was wearing her husband’s wedding ring on a chain around her neck.

Outside the space center, crowds that law-enforcement officials had estimated could reach half a million people watched the lift-off, the next-to-last in the 30-year shuttle program.

“It was a fantastic launch,” Michael P. Moses, director of the mission’s management team, said at a news conference. “A great day for us.”

It was the second attempt at a lift-off for Endeavour, which was grounded by an electrical short-circuit on April 29. NASA officials said the shuttle’s three main engines performed well during the 8 1/2 minute ascent, and that the power system that had been the source of the electrical problem functioned perfectly..."

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RAF Aerial Photos From WW2 Used To Discover Location of £500m Nazi Gold Bunker

2:31:18 AM, Monday, May 16, 2011

"Historians using RAF surveillance photos shot by Mosquito fighter-bombers over Germany during WW2 believe they are poised to uncover a mammoth bunker containing the secret gold reserves of the Third Reich.

After using photos and eyewitness reports from the time to pinpoint the spot, a dig is due to start next month in the Leinawald forest near Leipzig in the hope it will uncover the lost underground complex.

Rumours of the colossal subterranean installation have fuelled a treasure hunt mania in the forest over recent years.

Nazi archives show that battalions of Organisation Todt - the Third Reich's main labour organisation - were shipped into the Leinawald in 1944 on the orders of Hitler's armaments minister Albert Speer.

At the weekend human remains were found in the forest; believed to be those of slave labourers forced to assist the Nazis in building the secret bunker.

And Luftwaffe records from 1945 show that a bombing raid by warplanes was ordered on the site in April 1945 - one month from the end of the war - despite the fact that hardly any German planes were able to fly because of total Allied air supremacy.

One photo that excites local historian Hilmar Prosche shows sand workings in August 1944 that resemble the outline of a human skull.

He believes the skull points the way to the bunkerentrancde and the Reichsbank gold worth over 500 million pounds on today's markets..."

-- The photo is of a much earlier find. General Patton's third army discovered 100 tons of Nazi gold hidden in a salt mine near mockers, southwest of Gotha in 1945.

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40 Things That Will Make You Feel Old

10:23:01 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2011
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Dubai: 'Suicide Jump' From World's Tallest Skyscraper

9:31:05 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2011

"A man has committed suicide by jumping from the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, according to its owner.

The man, in his 20s, fell from the 147th floor of the 2,717ft (828m) Burj Khalifa, landing on a deck on the 108th floor, local media reported.

The building's owner, Emaar Properties, confirmed "an incident involving a male" took place on Tuesday morning.

It would be the first known suicide from the 160-storey landmark, which opened in January 2010.

"The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report," Emaar's statement said.

Reports on the websites of the Gulf News and 7 Days newspapers said the man had jumped after a dispute with his employer.

Police statements showed that a holiday he had requested was turned down, the National reported.

The Burj Khalifa was designed by Chicago-based architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

It is the tallest freestanding structure in the world, according to its developer."

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Jim Jefferies - Bagdad

5:28:57 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2011

-- Just in case you have no idea who Jim Jefferies is, 'cause he's focking hilarious!!!

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Frank Oscar Larson - New York City - The 1950's

5:05:33 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2011
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High Five For First Kiss

1:46:43 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2011

-- HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!!! Cute, maybe a little odd...

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IP-Address Is Not a Person, BitTorrent Case Judge Says

2:00:51 PM, Saturday, May 14, 2011

"A possible landmark ruling in one of the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the U.S. may spell the end of the “pay-up-or-else-schemes” that have targeted over 100,000 Internet users in the last year. District Court Judge Harold Baker has denied a copyright holder the right to subpoena the ISPs of alleged copyright infringers, because an IP-address does not equal a person.

In the last year various copyright holders have sued well over 100,000 alleged file-sharers in the United States alone. The purpose of these lawsuits is to obtain the personal details of the alleged infringers, and use this information to negotiate a settlement offer ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Lawyers, the public and consumer advocacy groups have compared these practices to extortion, but nonetheless new cases are still being filed every month. This week, however, an interesting ruling was handed down by District Court Judge Harold Baker that, if adopted by other judges, may become a major roadblock for similar mass-lawsuits.

In the case VPR Internationale v. Does 1-1017, the judge denied the Canadian adult film company access to subpoena ISPs for the personal information connected to the IP-addresses of their subscribers. The reason? IP-addresses do not equal persons, and especially in ‘adult entertainment’ cases this could obstruct a ‘fair’ legal process.

Among other things Judge Baker cited a recent child porn case where the U.S. authorities raided the wrong people, because the real offenders were piggybacking on their Wi-Fi connections. Using this example, the judge claims that several of the defendants in VPR’s case may have nothing to do with the alleged offense either.

“The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber’s household, a visitor with her laptop, a neighbor, or someone parked on the street at any given moment,” Judge Baker writes..."

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Yes, You Can Get Leprosy From an Armadillo

1:34:56 PM, Saturday, May 14, 2011

"For years, scientists have speculated that armadillos can pass on leprosy to humans, and that they are behind the few dozen cases of the disease that occur in the U.S. every year. Now, they have evidence. A genetic study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that U.S. armadillos and human patients share what seems to be a unique strain of the bacterium that causes leprosy.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease after the physician who first described it, attacks the skin and the nerves. It's a difficult illness to study: The bacteria grows naturally only in people and armadillos, and in experiments will grow on the footpads of genetically engineered mice.

In most places around the world where leprosy shows up, the disease is thought to pass from person to person. But in Central America and parts of the U.S. South and Southwest, armadillos are common, showing up in backyards, under porches, and by the side of the road. And in some places, more than 20% of armadillos are infected with leprosy. "It's always been a curiosity," says Richard Truman, a microbiologist at the National Hansen's Disease Program which is housed at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Scientists think their low body temperature provides a good environment for Mycobacterium leprae, the leprosy bacteria; in humans, too, M. leprae prefers cooler areas, such as nostrils, fingers, and toes.

Whether armadillos are linked to human infections in the United States has been "very difficult to address," Truman says. The number of U.S. cases is minuscule—just 150 people are diagnosed with leprosy each year, and only 30 to 50 of those are thought to have contracted the disease locally. There have been several reports of leprosy patients who came into contact with armadillos. John Abide, a dermatologist in Greenville, Mississippi, runs a solo practice and in recent years has seen three patients with the disease; further questioning revealed that all three of them had been exposed to armadillos. One woman often worked in her garden, where there were armadillos "everywhere," Abide says. "She could have inhaled fecal material." And two male patients had killed armadillos near their houses. Abide published these case studies in 2008..."

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Pendulum Waves

11:11:30 AM, Saturday, May 14, 2011
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3-D Plastic Art for the Masses: Ready to Print

5:53:58 PM, Friday, May 13, 2011

As it turns out, there really is a great future in plastics.

“There’s nothing like working with plastic!” Marius Watz announced to an appreciative crowd at the start of a talk in Brooklyn recently. Mr. Watz, a Norwegian-born artist, was describing his work with MakerBot, a new consumer-grade, desktop-size 3-D printer. With some assembly and do-it-yourself tinkering, the MakerBot makes, or “prints,” three-dimensional objects from molten plastic, creating a piggy bank, say, or a Darth Vader head from a computer design at the touch of a button.

“I’d heard about 3-D printing in the ’90s, but at that time it sounded like some sci-fi technology, like laser guns,” Mr. Watz said. “Basically, it sounded totally awesome.”

“Awesome” was sort of the buzzword at MakerBot’s inaugural open house, held at its warehouselike offices in Gowanus, Brooklyn, where Mr. Watz, its first artist in residence, showed off his sculptural forms (“We just started doing some blobby objects — vaguely disturbing but also awesome”) to a few dozen admirers and MakerBot owners, mostly guys in various stages of nerdy bliss. (“Aaawwwe-some.”)

After a burst of invention by three friends, the company was formed two years ago— “built on caffeine,” said a founder, Bre Pettis — and has since expanded to 32 employees and thousands of MakerBot kits sold. Three-D printing has existed for years, but the machines were cumbersome and expensive, relegated to art and engineering schools, often monopolized by specialists. The MakerBot, which tops out at about $1,300, gives anybody with a computer and an idea the same creative horsepower, and artists are beginning to take notice..."

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