Virtual Sales Provide Aid To Poorer Nations

10:39:35 PM, Friday, April 08, 2011

"Up to 100,000 people in China and Vietnam are playing online games to gather gold and other items for sale to Western players, a report suggests.

The global market for such virtual game goods is worth at least $3bn (£1.8bn) the World Bank study estimates.

About 75% of that comes from so-called "gold farmers" who stockpile game currencies to sell on later.

Encouraging these in-game services could aid development in many poorer countries, said the report.

Virtual farms

Popular online games such as Lineage and World of Warcraft revolve around the gear that players gather to outfit their characters. Better equipment makes characters more powerful.

Some of that equipment can be found on monsters, as well as being bought from other players who have found or made it.

Increasingly, the report said, Western players who have limited time for gaming are buying game cash, gear and high level characters from people in China and Vietnam that are paid to play as a job..."

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Ian McElroy’s Honda CBR 1000F Custom Streetfighter Motorcycle

10:56:22 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

-- Follow the link for a write up and many more shots of this beast.

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Video: Spaceship Lands at San Francisco Airport

10:33:20 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

"One of the first planes to dock at Virgin America’s new San Francisco International Airport terminal was a spaceship.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo arrived hitched between the twin fuselages of WhiteKnightTwo, its mothership and launch platform.

“For the first time we’ve brought the spaceship and WhiteKnight to a commercial airport…. It’s just a fantastic, exciting day,” says an obviously amped-up Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. Before he was the company’s CEO, Whitesides was one of the first people to sign up for a $200,000 ticket to ride on the space plane.

Commercial flights will begin in a year or two, Whitesides added.

The spaceship/mothership combination landed at SFO in formation with a more typical Virgin vehicle, an Airbus A320, which carried celebrity passengers such as Virgin founder Richard Branson (seen peering out the window in the video above) and pioneering astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

A handful of lucky schoolchildren who are part of a Virgin-backed nonprofit foundation’s effort to get students interested in science, math and entrepreneurship, also got to ride, plus a passel of journalists.

It’s just one of the public relations benefits Virgin enjoys as a result of operating both a domestic air carrier and a suborbital spaceflight operation.

The event was staged to show off Virgin’s new home at SFO’s Terminal 2, a sleek new structure that’s been under construction for nearly 10 years. The company touted the green credentials of the new terminal and its fleet. For instance, contractors recycled 90 percent of the construction project’s debris, according to Virgin. It is also LEED Gold-certified, meaning the terminal meets stringent criteria for energy efficiency.

“Virgin America has the most advanced and carbon-efficient commercial fleet in the U.S,” Whitesides said in a statement. The 700-800 gallons of jet fuel consumed by the hourlong, celebrity-laden A320 flight was not mentioned.

Also of interest to travelers is the terminal’s free Wi-Fi, “elevated laptop work stations” with power outlets, and hydration stations for refilling your Earth-friendly, reusable, stainless steel water bottles.

But at the end of the day, it was the spaceship that stole the show. There’s no word on whether regular flights to space will actually depart from SFO once Virgin Galactic begins commercial operations.

If so, they might have to rename the airport San Francisco Interplanetary."

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Freemasons feat. Wynter Gordon - Believer

10:15:03 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011
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7 Psychotic Pieces of Relationship Advice from Cosmo

4:20:45 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

"We get it. Guys are tough to figure out: There's like 24 possible combinations that you can make with 1) beer 2) food 3) sex and 4) sports. No wonder their girlfriends have to resort to lady magazines to gain insight into the buzzing hive that is the male mind. We know most women laugh that stuff off as cheap entertainment not to be taken seriously, but what if they actually did listen to all of the advice?

It'd pretty much turn into a nightmare of paranoia and petty revenge. After all, according to various Cosmo articles...

#7.He Shares the Details of His Day, Therefore He Must Be Hiding Something

Men just aren't as communicative as women, especially when they're stressed. So, let's say a guy makes a conscious decision to share more. That's solid advice, no matter the source. When she asks him about his day, instead of just saying, "fine," he can tell her in detail about his argument with Sarah, the lady from HR.

Guess what? Sharing about his day was a big mistake. According to one Cosmo article, giving too many details is a sign that he's hiding something:

"Don't be fooled by a guy who offers up tons of minor bits of information about where he's been or what he's been doing. At first, it may seem that because he can describe so much, he must be truthful. But he could actually be trying to cover his ass. 'If he's telling a story and you notice he's peppering it with insignificant details, that's a warning sign,' says Driver. 'This is especially true if you detect a lot of pauses, because it means he's trying to come up with more facts.' "

"How many more facts before you'll love me?"

Yes, according to Cosmo, by sharing so much about the stressful day he just had, the man is actually revealing that he's cheating on his partner (probably with Sarah). And all those times the man had to stop and think -- to make sure he didn't miss any details? You know, because he wanted to be more communicative? That's pure incrimination..."

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General: Libyan Conflict Is At Stalemate, US May Consider Sending Troops

4:15:17 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

"WASHINGTON – The U.S. may consider sending troops into Libya with a possible international ground force that could aid the rebels, the former U.S. commander of the military mission said Thursday, describing the ongoing operation as a stalemate that is more likely to go on now that America has handed control to NATO.

But Army Gen. Carter Ham also told lawmakers that American participation in a ground force would not be ideal, since it could erode the international coalition attacking Moammar Gadhafi's forces and make it more difficult to get Arab support for operations in Libya.

He said NATO has done an effective job in an increasingly complex combat situation. But he noted that, in a new tactic, Gadhafi's forces are making airstrikes more difficult by staging their fighters and vehicles near civilian areas such as schools and mosques.

The use of an international ground force is a possible plan to bolster the Libyan rebels, Ham said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Asked whether the U.S. would provide troops, Ham said, "I suspect there might be some consideration of that. My personal view at this point would be that that's probably not the ideal circumstance, again for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail."

President Barack Obama has said repeatedly there will be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya, although there are reports of small CIA teams in the country.

Pressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., about the situation in Libya, Ham agreed that a stalemate "is now more likely" since NATO took command.

Ham also disclosed that the U.S. is providing some strike aircraft to the NATO operation that do not need to go through the special approval process recently established. The powerful side-firing AC-130 gunship is available to NATO commanders, he said..."

-- The obvious result was obvious... This really should not be news to anyone, unless you're super naive... That would be on top of the CIA, covert ops and marines we have there now of course.

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Thirsty Dog Won’t Let A Kid Drink From The Water Fountain

2:18:17 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

-- The dog don’t care! HE’S THIRSTY!

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Dom Mazzetti vs. Rebecca Black - Friday

1:02:20 PM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

-- Just one more, I swear! I haven't posted any Rebecca Black content and spared you until now, so you can handle a little bit of it... ;)

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Breaking News: Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake Hits Off Japan Coast

10:05:32 AM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

"Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.

The Japan meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to one meter. The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month's tsunami.

Officials say Thursday's quake was a 7.4-magnitude and hit 25 miles (40 kilometers) under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month's tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude.

Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.

U.S. Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 7.4 and it struck off the eastern coast 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Sendai and 90 miles (140 kilometers) from Fukushima. It was about 215 miles (345 kilometers) from Tokyo.

The depth was 25 miles (40 kilometers). Shallower quakes tend to be more destructive.

Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the northeast region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, but few have been stronger than 7.0."

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White House Says Shutdown Will Delay Pay To Troops

9:30:33 AM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

"The Obama administration warned Wednesday that a federal shutdown would undermine the economic recovery, delay pay to U.S. troops fighting in three wars, slow the processing of tax returns and limit small business loans and government-backed mortgages during peak home buying season.

The dire message, delivered two days before the federal government's spending authority expires, appeared aimed at jolting congressional Republicans into a budget compromise. Billions of dollars apart, congressional negotiators were working to strike a deal by Friday to avert a shutdown by setting spending limits through the end of September. The last such shutdown took place 15 years ago and lasted 21 days.

President Barack Obama telephoned House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, and Boehner's office said the speaker told Obama he was hopeful a deal could be reached.

As the talks continued, the White House sought to put the prospect of a shutdown in terms people would care about, warning even that the beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation's capital would be wiped out. The Smithsonian Institution and national parks around the country would also be closed.

A shutdown would come at an especially busy time for the Smithsonian. The Cherry Blossom Festival, which concludes this weekend, draws many tourists to an area near the museums. The Smithsonian counts about 3 million visits each April and has already sold 23,000 IMAX movie and lunch combos to school groups for the month.

Under long-standing federal rules, agencies would not be affected that provide for U.S. national security, dispense most types of federal benefit payments, offer inpatient medical care or outpatient emergency care, ensure the safe use of food and drugs, manage air traffic, protect and monitor borders and coastlines, guard prisoners, conduct criminal investigations and law enforcement, oversee power distribution and oversee banks.

Mail deliveries would continue in the event of a shutdown. U.S. postal operations are not subsidized by tax dollars.

According to the shutdown scenario described by the administration, the government would have to significantly cut staffing across the executive branch, including workers at the White House and civilian employees at the Defense Department; close to 800,000 workers would be affected. Congress and the federal court system will also be subject to a shutdown..."

-- And yet they are all still taking the week off. Really this is the best our government can come up with? It is complete bullshit. I was making fun of Belgium, but this country's politicians and government are no less screwed up. In real life they'd all be fired, in their bullshit land... WELL...

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Dom Mazzetti vs. Dubstep

12:29:03 AM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

-- ‎"Dubstep is like chewing ecstasy when you thought it was children's Tylenol."

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Dragon Age: Origins - Main Theme Music

12:07:39 AM, Thursday, April 07, 2011

-- Random, but this deserves a listen even if you've never played the game. BioWare always has amazing game soundtracks.

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A Year In The Life Of Richmond Park: Photographer Captures London’s Secret Wildlife

11:20:36 PM, Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"A photographer who rose every day before dawn for a year has unlocked the secret world of London's majestic wildlife.

The stunning scenes, which occur right under the noses of the eight million people living in the capital, were captured on camera in a series of incredible pictures.

Dedicated Alex Saberi went out every morning before work to scout out the beautiful sights that most city dwellers would expect to travel to the New Forest or Exmoor to find.

But Alex, 34, travelled around Richmond Park, south west London, on a bicycle to find the fairytale scenes of rutting stags and swans swimming through the eerie dawn mist.

His outstanding shots include pictures of majestic deer roaming placidly under beams of sunlight and rabbits rising from their warren on a dewy morning.

An inquisitive squirrel is caught on camera hunting out his breakfast while a kingfisher surveys the silent morning.

Alex, a web designer from Putney, said: 'I used to live right next to the park and I would go every morning to take pictures..."

-- Follow the links to see and read the rest!!!

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Officials Say 2 Dead in F-18 Fighter Jet Crash in California

6:57:39 PM, Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"A fighter jet crashed into a field near a Central California air base on Wednesday, killing the two people on board, officials said.

Fresno County deputy coroner Sarah Davis confirmed the deaths with The Associated Press, but did not release other details.

Officials from the Naval Air Station in Lemoore said the F-18 aircraft went down shortly after noon in a grassy field about half a mile from the base. Military officials said the two men killed included a pilot and weapons system officer. Officials did not identify the men. Navy spokeswoman Melinda Larson said the crash was under investigation.

The crash happened about a half mile from where a crew for a farm labor contractor was planting tomatoes, and the supervisor Jonathan Aguayo described a scene involving black smoke and scattered debris.

"I heard a loud noise, I turned around and saw some smoke," Aguayo said. "It was a big black type of smoke coming off the ground. When my dad and I drove up to take a closer look, we saw some debris in the field, smoldering. One large piece and a bunch of smaller pieces."

Aguayo said he heard the crash bud did not see it happen.

F-18 Hornets are jets that are used by the military for combat operations and also in the Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron, which performs aerial shows.

Lemoore is about 30 miles south of Fresno in Central California. The Naval Air Station, which is home to about 275 jets, is the West Coast hub for the U.S. Pacific Fleet and its mission is to train and man west coast Strike-Fighter squadrons."

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Living In The Tunnels of New York City

4:04:07 PM, Wednesday, April 06, 2011

-- Frankly it's a pretty sweet setup he got there... Almost better than many dorms on college campuses! Also, May 21st is my birthday! WOOT!

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