50th Anniversary of First Man in Space: Yuri Gagarin The Man Who Beat America to Space
|1:14:34 PM, Tuesday, April 12, 2011|
-- Since anyone can just wiki the specific details on the event, the link is for a collection of various photos and random facts from his life. A really interesting collection of photos, take a look.
Extending Worms’ Lives, and Maybe Ours
|12:02:55 PM, Tuesday, April 12, 2011|
"Scientists have found a fountain of youth, at least for the tiny C. elegans worm.
Extending the lives of worms is hardly a breakthrough, but what is intriguing is that one of the life-extending chemicals the scientists fed to the worms, thioflavin T, has already been used in people in studies of Alzheimer’s disease. Another compound that was successful in tests was curcumin, a bright yellow compound found in the spice turmeric.
Thioflavin T is used to detect clumps of misfolded amyloid proteins found in the brains of people who have suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Because the dye, like curcumin, binds to the amyloid proteins, the researchers believe it had a beneficial effect on the worms by slowing the buildup of misfolded proteins.
C. elegans worms typically live 18 to 20 days. Treated with the compounds, they lived 30 to 70 percent longer. And as the worms entered middle age, around 10 days, the treated worms remained more active and looked more healthy than the untreated ones. However, the chemicals reduced the worms’ fertility, and at high doses the compounds were, like many chemicals, toxic.
“It’s hard to say these compounds would be effective in, say, mammals,” said Gordon J. Lithgow, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., and senior author of a paper describing the research in the current issue of the journal Nature.
But they could lead to ones that might work. “It at least says that’s a good place to look,” Dr. Lithgow said.
Since many age-related diseases are associated with the accumulation of damaged proteins, the research could also lead to treatments."
|11:58:30 AM, Tuesday, April 12, 2011|
Flying Umbrellas by Archon Photography
|11:05:04 AM, Tuesday, April 12, 2011|
How Hubble Space Telescope Images Are Created
|9:13:57 AM, Tuesday, April 12, 2011|
Astronomy Picture of the Day : M74 The Perfect Spiral
|10:27:25 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
-- "If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view. Classified as an Sc galaxy, the grand design of M74's graceful spiral arms are traced by bright blue star clusters and dark cosmic dust lanes. The above image covers half the width of the full Moon and was obtained using 19 hours of exposure on the 1.23-meter telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in the Sierra de Los Filabres mountain range in Spain. Spanning about 30,000 light-years across the face of M74, it includes exposures recording emission from hydrogen atoms, highlighting the reddish glow of the galaxy's large star-forming regions. "
Obama's High-Speed Rail Project Gets $1.5 Billion Slashed In Budget Deal
|9:35:46 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
"WASHINGTON -- As part of the final budget deal formally agreed to on Friday night, the Obama administration signed off on a big cut to a closely held transportation policy priority.
Multiple Hill sources from both parties confirm that the final continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through the end of September will include a $1.5 billion cut in funds for the planned national high-speed rail system. Jennifer Hing, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, said that the reduction could actually grow larger as lawmakers negotiate the final language.
“The final agreement will reflect" the $1.5 billion of high-speed rail funds slashed from the temporary CR, Hing wrote in an email to HuffPost, "but that is not to say that it couldn’t be more.”
In signing off on cuts, the Obama administration is taking a major hit to one of the president’s favorite transportation priorities. In the process, he is also giving fodder to critics who have accused the White House’s push for high-speed rail as pie-in-the-sky policy that would fall far short of transforming the nation’s antiquated infrastructure.
Already there have been several Republican governors who have refused to accept federal money to build high-speed rail projects in their states. Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2 billion alone, citing concerns that the state’s portion of the funds would go well beyond projections. That money was, in turn, sent to the Department of Transportation to be awarded to other interested states. Now it appears a good chunk of it will go towards deficit reduction.
The White House was able to secure $8 billion in high-speed rail money in the 2009 stimulus package. The current level of funding was $2.5 billion-a-year. The cuts secured under the budget deal reached on Friday night brings the annual rail dollars down to $1 billion, though administration officials stressed that none of the lost funds would come from existing projects that have received grants.
The president had budgeted $1 billion himself in his 2012 budget proposal but as recently as mid-February 2011, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood was encouraging Congress to authorize $53 billion over the next six years."
-- Of course it did. There's better ways to spend that money, like bombing Libya for example.
MACHETE - Tenderness (Нежность)
|7:54:33 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
-- So my Russian is far far from perfect, but with the help of a dictionary I've translated the title as "tenderness", e.g. "to whisper sweet nothings in sb's ear".
Pentagon's Second Thoughts on Iraq Withdrawal
|7:41:59 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
"WASHINGTON – Eight months shy of its deadline for pulling the last American soldier from Iraq and closing the door on an 8-year war, the Pentagon is having second thoughts.
Reluctant to say it publicly, officials fear a final pullout in December could create a security vacuum, offering an opportunity for power grabs by antagonists in an unresolved and simmering Arab-Kurd dispute, a weakened but still active al-Qaida or even an adventurous neighbor such as Iran.
The U.S. wants to keep perhaps several thousand troops in Iraq, not to engage in combat but to guard against an unraveling of a still-fragile peace. This was made clear during Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit Thursday and Friday in which he and the top U.S. commander in Iraq talked up the prospect of an extended U.S. stay.
How big a military commitment might the U.S. be willing to make beyond 2011? "It just depends on what the Iraqis want and what we're able to provide and afford," Gates said Thursday at a U.S. base in the northern city of Mosul where U.S. soldiers advise and mentor Iraqi forces. He said the U.S. would consider a range of possibilities, from staying an extra couple of years to remaining in Iraq as permanent partners.
Powerful political winds are blowing against such a move even as U.S. officials assert that Iraqi leaders — Sunni, Shiite and Kurd — are saying privately they see a need for help developing their air defenses and other military capabilities. U.S. training of Iraqi forces up to now has focused on combating an internal enemy, including al-Qaida, rather than external threats.
If the Iraqis choose not to ask for more help, then Dec. 31 probably will mark the end of U.S. military intervention that was so close to failing when Gates became Pentagon chief in December 2006. He once said the U.S. faced the prospect of a "strategic disaster" at the heart of the Middle East.
Meghan O'Sullivan, a top adviser on Iraq to President George W. Bush when his administration negotiated the 2008 security agreement that set upcoming deadline for a final U.S. military withdrawal, said time is too short to negotiate a full reworking of that legal pact.
"The question is, can both sides agree on something more modest but which still provides an adequate legal basis for a smaller number of American troops to stay in Iraq, with quite defined missions?" she said in an email exchange last week. O'Sullivan is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School..."
-- This news come as a complete surprise.
Egyptian Protesters Defy Military, Return To Tahrir Square
|2:10:49 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
"CAIRO — Angry anti-government demonstrators returned to Tahrir Square late Saturday, some declaring that they were ready to face martyrdom, less than a day after Egypt’s military rulers used force to break up a protesters’ camp in the place where their revolution began.
Protesters again chanted slogans calling for the removal of the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, likening him to ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Others prayed or read from the Koran. Many appeared mindful of the council’s warning earlier in the day that troops would use force again, if necessary, to clear the square.
The bloody pre-dawn crackdown Saturday followed weeks of rising tensions between the pro-democracy movement and the military leadership that has run the country since Mubarak’s ouster in February.
At first, protesters welcomed the military’s intervention, seeing it as protection from the security apparatus and paid government thugs. But the euphoria quickly faded, and accusations mounted that the military was shielding Mubarak and doing his bidding.
The death toll from the raid on the protesters’ encampment remained in dispute late Saturday. Witnesses said that at least two people had been killed, while the Health Ministry said one person had died.
Hundreds of troops, firing into the air and attacking protesters with electric batons, swarmed the center of the square to expel several hundred people who had defied a 2 a.m. curfew after a large but peaceful protest Friday.
Among those who had joined the overnight protesters in the camp were about 20 uniformed soldiers who had broken ranks to demand that the military council move faster to try Mubarak and former members of his regime on corruption charges.
“They were participating to show their solidarity with the people,” said Hassad Mahmoud, 20, a student at Cairo University who took part in the sit-in.
Toward midnight, jubilant protesters in the camp lifted rebellious soldiers on their shoulders, shouting, “The army and the people form a single hand!” One of the soldiers raised a rolled-up body bag into the air, proclaiming that he was ready to die..."
London Elektricity - Just One Second (Apex Remix)
|1:58:06 PM, Monday, April 11, 2011|
Young Japanese Female Tourists Magically Turn Into Old Japanese Men
|9:36:36 PM, Sunday, April 10, 2011|
Aides Web Film - Clever Dick
|7:09:28 PM, Sunday, April 10, 2011|
-- This TBWA Paris produced film demonstrates that thinking with your dick doesn't always have to mean stupidity in this AIDES web film. Think that movie Limitless, except the protagonist is... Well watch the film.
Attenborough: Fully Grown Python Eating a Deer - Life in Cold Blood - BBC Wildlife
|5:24:48 PM, Sunday, April 10, 2011|
-- Sir David Attenborough presents this epic wildlife documentary, exploring the world of cold blooded animals. Watch this phenomenal video to see a fully grown python kill and eat a deer. Brilliant high quality images from BBC natural history masterpiece, Life in Cold Blood.
One Dead in Shooting on UK Nuclear Submarine
|3:01:35 PM, Sunday, April 10, 2011|
"LONDON (AFP) – A Royal Navy sailor was killed on Friday and another has life-threatening injuries after a shooting aboard a nuclear submarine docked in port, police and the Ministry of Defence said.
A third sailor was arrested and was in custody over the incident in Southampton, officials said, stressing that the shooting was not terrorism-related.
"We can confirm that one person has died and another is in a life threatening condition following a shooting incident on board HMS Astute today," Hampshire police said.
Astute, the British navy's newest and most advanced submarine, was in Southampton on a five-day visit after spending 46 days at sea, according to local media.
Armed police, firefighters, paramedics and the local air ambulance were quickly deployed to the docks, and two police launches patrolled near the submarine, witnesses said.
"Two Royal Navy personnel have been involved in a firearms incident at Southampton docks where HMS Astute is alongside. Sadly, one has now died as a result of his injuries," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
It added: "A third Royal Navy serviceman has been arrested by Hampshire Constabulary and is now in custody.
"This incident was not terrorist-related and there is no threat to the wider public."
The mayor of Southampton and the leader and chief executive of the city council were visiting the submarine at the time, around noon (1100 GMT), but were not hurt.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox offered his condolences to the victims' families, saying: "I am greatly saddened to hear of this incident and of the death of a Royal Navy service person in this tragic incident..."
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