Apartment Building's Secret Garage in San Francisco

5:39:19 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011
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US to Give Libyan Rebels Non-Lethal Aid

5:31:44 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011

"WASHINGTON – The Obama administration plans to give the Libyan opposition $25 million in non-lethal assistance in the first direct U.S. aid to the rebels after weeks of assessing their capabilities and intentions, officials said Wednesday.

Amid a debate over whether to offer the rebels broader assistance, including cash and possibly weapons and ammunition, the administration has informed Congress that President Barack Obama intends to use his so-called drawdown authority to give the opposition, led by the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, up to $25 million in surplus American goods to help protect civilians in rebel-held areas threatened by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who recommended that Obama authorize the assistance, said the aid would go to support the council and "our efforts to protect civilians and the civilian populated areas that are under threat of attack from their own government in Libya." She said the aid "will be drawn down from items already in government stocks that correspond with the needs that we have heard from the Transitional National Council."

Congress was notified in writing of the plan late last week and was briefed in greater detail on Tuesday by Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, officials said.

Initially, the administration had proposed supplying the rebels with vehicles and portable fuel storage tanks but those items were dropped from the list of potential aid on Wednesday after concerns were expressed that those could be converted into offensive military assets, the officials said..."

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Atmosphere - Yesterday

5:05:04 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011
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Vixens by Riley Blakeway

5:01:51 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011

-- A voyeuristic documentation of the high-fashion photography shoot. Nirvana instrumental version. Lovely girls and lovely shots!

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New Jersey To Rehire Transit Worker Fired For Burning Quran

4:31:52 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011

"New Jersey Transit will rehire a man who was fired after burning a Quran. The ACLU of New Jersey brought a suit on behalf of Derek Fenton, who was fired for burning a Quran last year on the ninth anniversary of 9/11.

According to settlement papers released by the ACLU, Fenton will get back his $86,110-a-year position, receive backpay at a rate of $331.20 per day since he was fired and he'll receive $25,000 for "Mr. Fenton's pain and suffering." The settlement also states that Fenton will not have to "disavow or recant that conduct" and will not have to undergo any "sensitivity training."

"Our government cannot pick and choose whose free speech rights are protected, based on whether or not they approve of the content of our statements or actions," Fenton said in a statement. "This is the very essence of the First Amendment."

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Fenton was fired after he attended a protest at the site of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan, tore three pages from the Quran and set them on fire..."

-- "Dude, you HAVE no Koran."

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Don't Tattoo A Crime Scene On Your Chest

3:54:44 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011

"Inked on the chest of a Pico Rivera gang member was the detailed scene of a liquor store slaying that had stumped an L.A. County sheriff's investigator for more than four years. It leads to a jailhouse confession from Anthony Garcia — and a first-degree murder conviction.

The process was routine. L.A. County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was flipping through snapshots of tattooed gang members.

Then one caught his attention.

Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years.

Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.

As if to seal the deal, below the collarbone of the gang member known by the alias "Chopper" was a miniature helicopter raining down bullets on the scene.

Lloyd's discovery of the tattoo in 2008 launched a bizarre investigation that soon led to Anthony Garcia's arrest for the shooting. Then sheriff's detectives, posing as gang members, began talking to Garcia, 25, in his holding cell. They got a confession that this week led to a first-degree murder conviction in a killing investigators had once all but given up hope of solving..."

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Largest Fossil Spider Found in Volcanic Ash

2:57:33 PM, Friday, April 22, 2011

"The largest fossil spider uncovered to date once ensnared prey back in the age of dinosaurs, scientists find.

The spider, named Nephila jurassica, was discovered buried in ancient volcanic ash in Inner Mongolia, China. Tufts of hairlike fibers seen on its legs showed this 165-million-year-old arachnid to be the oldest known species of the largest web-weaving spiders alive today — the golden orb-weavers, or Nephila, which are big enough to catch birds and bats, and use silk that shines like gold in the sunlight.

The fossil was about as large as its modern relatives, with a body one inch (2.5 centimeters) wide and legs that reach up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long. Golden orb-weavers nowadays are mainly tropical creatures, so the ancient environment of Nephila jurassica probably was similarly lush.

"It would have lived, like today's Nephila, in its orb web of golden silk in a clearing in a forest, or more likely at the edge of a forest close to the lake," researcher Paul Selden, director of the Paleontological Institute at the University of Kansas, told LiveScience. "There would have been volcanoes nearby producing the ash that forms the lake sediment it is entombed within."

Spiders are the most numerous predators on land today, and help keep insect numbers in check. So these findings help us "understand the evolution of the insect-spider predator-prey relationship," Selden said, suggesting that golden orb-weavers have been ensnaring insects and influencing their evolution since the Jurassic Period..."

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Time-Lapse on Top of Spain’s Highest Mountain: El Teide Mountain and the Milky Way Galaxy

10:49:39 PM, Thursday, April 21, 2011

-- I've been meaning to post this. The best time-lapse you'll ever watch!!! DO IT NOW.

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Man Runs 99 Miles Home After Completing London Marathon

9:46:43 PM, Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Sam Robson did what most people do after completing a marathon: He went home and fell asleep. Except rather than drive to his house, 99 miles away from the finish line of the London Marathon, Robson ran back. All the way.

The 28-year-old from Central England finished Sunday's official race in 3 hours and 45 minutes before starting on the 99-mile second leg. He arrived to his home in St. Ives Cambs about 25 hours later, greeted by a cheering crowd. In total, he ran 125 miles in 29 hours, a pace of around 13 minutes per mile.

That number sounds insane, but it's even more mind-boggling if you really think about it. Think back to what you were doing five hours ago yesterday. Now imagine you've been running since then. I don't know if most people could stay awake that long, let alone do anything remotely physical.

Robson, a medical researcher, completed the super-marathon to raise money for the UK Epilepsy Society. In all, he raised a little more than $5,000 for the charity. Robson has suffered from the condition since he was a teenager..."

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'Disease-Proof Mosquito' Could Spread Like Wildfire

3:24:47 PM, Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Suppose you're one of the many scientists racing to design mosquitoes unable to transmit malaria or another major scourge—and you succeed. Now what? You can release the critters in the real world, but if they don't have some unique advantage, they will be vastly outnumbered by the billions of natural mosquitoes already out there.

Now, scientists have developed a new genetic trick that could help those disease-resistant mosquitoes spread like wildfire. The system, a so-called gene drive mechanism, is published online today in Nature.

The new study is part of an explosion in mosquito genetics research that aims to stop mosquitoes from transmitting malaria—which killed an estimated 800,000 people in 2009—and several other diseases. Already, scientists have identified several mosquito genes that, when tinkered with, decrease the mosquitoes' ability to transmit a virus or a parasite; they have also given the insects new genes that do the same.

But a question clouding the field's future has been how to “replace” natural populations with these new and improved mosquitoes. For that, scientists need a system that will help the lab-bred mosquitoes take over wild populations, to ensure that genes conferring resistance become ubiquitous. Scientists are working on several strategies; many involve so-called selfish genes, strange stretches of naturally occurring DNA that have ways of spreading through populations in almost parasitic fashion. The idea is that these genes could be hitched to others that mess with the parasite's life cycle and make those spread as well. But although researchers have had some success in fruit flies, nobody has been able to get a gene drive system going in mosquitoes.

The new study, led by molecular biologists Andrea Crisanti and Austin Burt of Imperial College London, was done in Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito species that is by far the most important carrier of malaria. The scientists used a so-called homing-endonuclease gene (HEG), a selfish gene found in fungi, plants, and bacteria that has the ability to create a second copy of itself in individuals that have only one. This ensures that all offspring have the gene as well, and it's one of the fastest ways genes can spread in nature, says insect geneticist Jason Rasgon of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, who was not involved in the new study..."

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Kyrgyz Parliament Sacrifices 7 Sheep For Evil Spirits

11:51:49 AM, Thursday, April 21, 2011

"BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan's raucous parliament have sacrificed seven sheep in what they call a bid to drive evil spirits out of the chamber.

Parliament press officer Shairbek Mamatoktorov said almost all the deputies attended Thursday morning's traditional ceremony. He says meat from the slaughtered animals will be sent to homes for the elderly and the disabled.

The impoverished Central Asian nation's fragile three-party coalition has descended into a flurry of squabbling. Deputies from two parties in the fragile coalition government even came to blows earlier this month and traded bitter accusations.

This month marked the first anniversary of a bloody uprising that led to the ouster of the country's authoritarian leader."

-- Apparently it also works wonders when solving domestic policy issues.

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Kelly Rowland - Commander ft. David Guetta

12:29:58 AM, Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves

12:23:53 AM, Thursday, April 21, 2011

"In a real-life use of Schrödinger's theoretical paradoxical cat, researchers report that they were able to quickly transfer a complex set of quantum information while preserving its integrity. The information, in the form of light, was manipulated in such a way that it existed in two states at the same time, and it was destroyed in one spot and recreated in another. The new breakthrough is a major step toward building safe, effective quantum computers.

No felines were harmed in the making of this experiment, which actually studied wave packets of light that existed in a state of quantum superposition, meaning they existed in two different phases simultaneously. This phenomenon is described in Erwin Schrodinger’s quantum mechanics thought experiment, in which a cat is simultaneously dead and alive, depending on the state of a subatomic particle.

In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost.

The team employed a mind-boggling set of quantum manipulation techniques to achieve this, including squeezing, photon subtraction, entanglement and homodyne detection. The photo above depicts their device, nicknamed the Teleporter, in the lab of Akira Furusawa at the University of Tokyo.

The results pave the way for high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of information, according to Elanor Huntington, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia who was part of the study.

“If we can do this, we can do just about any form of communication needed for any quantum technology,” she said in a news release.

Instead of using ones and zeroes, quantum computers store data as qubits, which can represent one and zero simultaneously. This superposition enables the computers to solve multiple problems at once. The new, faster teleportation process means scientists can move blocks of this quantum information around within a computer or across a network, Huntington said..."

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Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photos

12:19:22 AM, Thursday, April 21, 2011
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When Did You Choose to Be Straight?

12:07:11 AM, Thursday, April 21, 2011
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