Simon's Cat in 'Sticky Tape'
|6:09:14 PM, Wednesday, March 02, 2011|
DJ Y Alias JY - Extreme Ways In The Deep (Mashup)
|6:04:14 PM, Wednesday, March 02, 2011|
With Russia's $650 Billion Rearmament Plan, the Bear Sharpens Its Teeth
|5:50:39 PM, Tuesday, March 01, 2011|
"The graying bear is getting a make-over. Russia's military is launching its biggest rearmament effort since Soviet times, including a $650 billion program to procure 1,000 new helicopters, 600 combat planes, 100 warships, and 8 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
Analysts say Russia, while already the world's fifth-largest military spender, needs strong conventional forces to reduce its overreliance on its aging Soviet-era nuclear missile deterrent. Valentin Rudenko, director of the independent Interfax-Military News Agency, says it could create "a whole new ballgame."
"For about two decades we've had no real modernization, at least not like what's being proposed now," he says. "Russia will finally have a modern, top-level armed forces that are capable of protecting the country."
Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin last week announced the unprecedented new outlays, which will see a massive re-equipping of Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent as well as its conventional forces. The Defense Ministry today said the "modernization drive" will begin this year with the deployment of new generations of air defense and antimissile weapons by Russian ground forces.
The impressive shopping spree comes on the heels of a painful military reform that severely downsized Russia's conscript Army, eliminating 9 out of 10 Soviet-era units and cutting 200,000 officers. The goal now, experts say, is to equip Russia's new lean-and-mean, largely professional armed forces to face 21st-century threats. These are mainly considered to be regional conflicts such as the brief 2008 Russo-Georgian war, which highlighted military shortcomings..."
-- Mother Russia! Never underestimate Russia, it was never out of the game.
Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Rosette Nebula
|4:15:49 PM, Tuesday, March 01, 2011|
-- "Would the Rosette Nebula by any other name look as sweet? The bland New General Catalog designation of NGC 2237 doesn't appear to diminish the appearance of this flowery emission nebula. Inside the nebula lies an open cluster of bright young stars designated NGC 2244. These stars formed about four million years ago from the nebular material and their stellar winds are clearing a hole in the nebula's center, insulated by a layer of dust and hot gas. Ultraviolet light from the hot cluster stars causes the surrounding nebula to glow. The Rosette Nebula spans about 100 light-years across, lies about 5000 light-years away, and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros)."
A Shadow Across the Shuttle Discovery
|12:56:50 PM, Tuesday, March 01, 2011|
-- "On Saturday, the Orbiter Discovery was in space, circling hundreds of kilometers above our planet. Here’s an interesting picture of it… but wait a sec! If it was in orbit, what could cast a shadow across it?
Why, it’s the International Space Station itself! This shot is from Paolo Nespoli, an astronaut on the ISS. He snapped it as the Orbiter approached the station — docking was achieved on Saturday afternoon Eastern time. [UPDATE: As people have noted in the comments below, that's the coastline of Peru under the Orbiter. Awesome.]
This is the last scheduled flight of Discovery. When she undocks from ISS next week, it will be for the final time. However, you can experience this flight at least by proxy through Nespoli, who has an astonishing series of pictures on Flickr that he uploads in near real-time from space (I like this one too).Think about that: a guy living in space is taking hi-res digital pictures and uploading them to the web so everyone with internet access can see. You can keep your flying cars: we do live in the future."
The Mobile Phone App That 'Spots Cancer With 100% Accuracy in One Hour'
|7:44:19 PM, Monday, February 28, 2011|
“A mobile phone that spots cancer - and is more accurate than the techniques routinely used in hospitals - has been developed by scientists.
The smartphone-based system is up to 100 per cent accurate at telling the difference between benign tumours and their malignant counterparts.
It also takes just an hour to make the diagnosis, meaning patients don’t have to spend days or weeks anxiously waiting for test results.
The U.S. researchers said the gadget could ‘transform cancer care’ by also making it easier for doctors to track how well drugs are fighting the disease in a patient’s body.
In initial tests, it was 88 per cent accurate in distinguishing cancerous stomach tumours from benign growths.
Refining the technique boosted accuracy to 100 per cent, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports.
This compares with an average accurate of 84 per cent for the gold standard technique which involves using chemicals that stain cancerous cells and show up under a microscope…”
Playable Angry Birds Birthday Cake
|12:26:09 PM, Monday, February 28, 2011|
Last U.S. World War I Veteran Dies
|11:52:32 AM, Monday, February 28, 2011|
“Frank Buckles, the last U.S. World War I veteran, has died, a spokesman for his family said Sunday. He was 110.
Buckles "died peacefully in his home of natural causes" early Sunday morning, the family said in a statement sent to CNN late Sunday by spokesman David DeJonge.
Buckles marked his 110th birthday on February 1, but his family had earlier told CNN he had slowed considerably since last fall, according his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, who lives at the family home near Charles Town, West Virginia.
Buckles, who served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe during what became known as the "Great War," rose to the rank of corporal before the war ended. He came to prominence in recent years, in part because of the work of DeJonge, a Michigan portrait photographer who had undertaken a project to document the last surviving veterans of that war.
As the years continued, all but Buckles had passed away, leaving him the "last man standing" among U.S. troops who were called "The Doughboys."
DeJonge found himself the spokesman and advocate for Buckles in his mission to see to it that his comrades were honored with a monument on the National Mall, alongside memorials for veterans of World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.
Buckles made history when he was asked to testify in Congress on the matter before a House committee on December 3, 2009.
"I have to," he told CNN when he came to Washington, as part of what he considered his responsibility to honor the memory of fellow-veterans.
Buckles, after World War I ended, took up a career as a ship's officer on merchant vessels. He was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II and held prisoner of war for more than three years before he was freed by U.S. troops…”
Garbage to Gold: Ways to Get Value From Waste Slideshow
|2:44:21 AM, Monday, February 28, 2011|
"Where there's waste, there's energy and materials. The municipality of Lidkoping, Sweden, began construction last year of a biogas and fertilizer plant that will use waste from the local food industry as its main feedstock. The creation of biogas, mostly methane, happens from naturally occurring microorganisms in enclosed tanks. At this facility, which will cost about $12 million, the biogas is cooled and turned into a liquid. Once the plant is completed, operators expect to handle 60,000 metric tons a year of waste and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 14,000 metric tons annually..."
Chinese Missile Ship Races to Libya
|2:16:56 AM, Monday, February 28, 2011|
"We’re used to seeing the U.S. Navy pull American citizens out of warzones. Now, China’s navy is doing the same thing — sending a ship to snag its people out of Libya, as the country teeters on the brink of civil war.
China has redeployed the 4,000 ton missile frigate Xuzhou from its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden to assist in the evacuation of its nationals from Libya. It’s the “the first ever dispatch” of a Chinese navy vessel to run a “non-combatant evacuation,” China SignPost’s Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson note.
The move underlines the growth in Chinese naval power, Collins and Erickson write. And with a number of Chinese workers employed in potentially unstable countries around the world, the evacuation likely serves as a dress rehearsal for future crises.
China has already evacuated some 12,000 of its 30,000 nationals in Libya, flying some to nearby Egypt and placing others on chartered passenger lines. Pressure for a swift exit has grown as the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) reported attacks against its oil facilities in Libya, though the company’s 391 employees are reportedly unharmed.
China joins a number of countries who’ve sent military ships or aircraft to evacuate their citizens from the growing violence in Libya. Britain’s Royal Navy has sent a destroyer to Libya to remove British oil workers currently stranded in the country. South Korea has also diverted a warship from its nearby anti-piracy mission to assist in the evacuation of its citizens..."
When We Were Kings
|6:21:13 PM, Sunday, February 27, 2011|
-- I do not know who the photographer is, so if you do please let me know!
2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal
|5:47:49 PM, Sunday, February 27, 2011|
"On Feb. 15, 1965, a diffident but self-possessed high school student named Raymond Kurzweil appeared as a guest on a game show called I've Got a Secret. He was introduced by the host, Steve Allen, then he played a short musical composition on a piano. The idea was that Kurzweil was hiding an unusual fact and the panelists — they included a comedian and a former Miss America — had to guess what it was.
On the show (see the clip on YouTube), the beauty queen did a good job of grilling Kurzweil, but the comedian got the win: the music was composed by a computer. Kurzweil got $200.
Kurzweil then demonstrated the computer, which he built himself — a desk-size affair with loudly clacking relays, hooked up to a typewriter. The panelists were pretty blasé about it; they were more impressed by Kurzweil's age than by anything he'd actually done. They were ready to move on to Mrs. Chester Loney of Rough and Ready, Calif., whose secret was that she'd been President Lyndon Johnson's first-grade teacher.
But Kurzweil would spend much of the rest of his career working out what his demonstration meant. Creating a work of art is one of those activities we reserve for humans and humans only. It's an act of self-expression; you're not supposed to be able to do it if you don't have a self. To see creativity, the exclusive domain of humans, usurped by a computer built by a 17-year-old is to watch a line blur that cannot be unblurred, the line between organic intelligence and artificial intelligence.
That was Kurzweil's real secret, and back in 1965 nobody guessed it. Maybe not even him, not yet. But now, 46 years later, Kurzweil believes that we're approaching a moment when computers will become intelligent, and not just intelligent but more intelligent than humans. When that happens, humanity — our bodies, our minds, our civilization — will be completely and irreversibly transformed. He believes that this moment is not only inevitable but imminent. According to his calculations, the end of human civilization as we know it is about 35 years away..."
K'naan - Wavin' Flag
|3:32:14 PM, Sunday, February 27, 2011|
The Honey Badger Doesn't Give a Shit
|2:48:36 AM, Sunday, February 27, 2011|
-- Honey Badger don't give a shit, it just takes what it wants.
Astronomy Picture of the Day: Simeis 147, Supernova Remnant
|2:23:23 AM, Sunday, February 27, 2011|
-- "It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147. Also cataloged as Sh2-240 and seen towards the constellation Taurus, it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky. That corresponds to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. The remarkable composite includes image data taken through narrow-band filters to highlight emission from hydrogen and oxygen atoms tracing regions of shocked, glowing gas. This supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years - meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 40,000 years ago. But this expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star's core."
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