Diver Plunges 100 Meters, Unassisted on One Breath, to Set World Record

5:00:38 PM, Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“William Trubridge on Monday accomplished what had long been regarded as an impossible feat: swimming to a depth of 100 meters, or 328 feet, on a single breath and with only hands and feet for propulsion.

The New Zealander did not use swim fins; he wore no weights and required no heavy sled during the descent. Nor did he use an inflatable airbag to swiftly reach the surface after his dive.

Rather, he set a new unassisted freediving record and achieved the historic 100-meter mark -- previously attained only in an assisted manner, with weighted sleds and airbags -- while wearing only a thin wetsuit and displaying remarkable power of mind over body.

"It's different than when you use sleds and airbags," Trubridge said of a his dive, made at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. "Because when you turn around at 100 meters and start swimming back to the surface with just your hands and feet, it can be a little bit daunting because of how much water you have over your head."

A diver cannot always see the surface at 328 feet. It's more than three times deeper than what's considered safe for recreational scuba divers, who must ascend from any significant depth at a painstakingly slow pace to avoid developing embolisms in the bloodstream, associated with breathing compressed air.

Trubridge held his breath for 4 minutes, 10 seconds, from start to finish. In reaching 100 meters he matched a depth first attained by a freediver in 1976, when Jacques Mayol completed his dive using a weighted sled and inflatable airbag. Mayol's exploits were legendary. The Frenchman was portrayed in the 1988 adventure movie "The Big Blue," which delved into the obscure sport of freediving…”

-- "Trubridge held his breath for 4 minutes, 10 seconds, from start to finish..."

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Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar Over Grand Theft Auto

1:18:30 PM, Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The makers of Grand Theft Auto know a thing or two about stealing cars, but according to one musician, they also know a thing or two about stealing ideas.

IGN reports that Michael "Shagg" Washington, a backup singer for seminal hip hop group Cypress Hill, has filed a lawsuit against developer Rockstar Games and publisher Take 2 Interactive over the unlawful use of his life and likeness in the hit PS2 game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, the suit claims that the developers based the game's protagonist, Carl "CJ" Johnson, on Washington's real life story. Court documents allege this information was gleaned during a two-hour conversation he had with Rockstar in 2003 in which he was asked about his personal experiences with gang life.

According to the complaint, Washington "responded to their questions and related details of his life," which included "how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles." (Bikes are prominently featured in the game.)

-- Someone's checking accounts must be running low!

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Baby Preacher Translated With Subtitles

1:09:20 PM, Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Fall by Jan Skop

12:43:10 AM, Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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40 Stunning Old Photos

11:41:01 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

-- 40 photos taken during the years 1840-1930.

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U.S. Health-Care Law Requirement Thrown Out by Judge

11:32:42 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

"The Obama administration’s requirement that most citizens maintain minimum health coverage as part of a broad overhaul of the industry is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled, striking down the linchpin of the plan.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond, Virginia, today said that the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce. While severing the coverage mandate, which is set to become effective in 2014, Hudson didn’t address other provisions such as expanding Medicaid.

“At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate,” wrote Hudson, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002.

The ruling is the government’s first loss in a series of challenges to the law mounted in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida, where 20 states have joined an effort to have the statute thrown out. Constitutional scholars said unless Congress changes the law, its fate on appeal will probably be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court..."

-- Ugh... Finally something is getting done about this giant of a legislative failure.

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Vandalog

10:12:18 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

"Vandalog began in October 2008 as the place for people to keep up to date on what’s going on with street art. If something matters in the world of street art, you can read about it on Vandalog."

-- Worth a click and a look if you're interested in art, especially street art!

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Pedobear Plush Hat

7:18:10 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

-- A company called Catch Kuma is selling these Pedobear hats as an alternative to your current, likely much less controversial, winter hat, just in case you were lacking that creepy factor in your life... ;)

You're, now, just $25 away from having Pedobear occupying the vantage position atop your head to spot any children in your immediate vicinity.

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Sperm Whales Show Signs of Toxic Contamination

6:15:01 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

The skin and blubber of sperm whales from across the Pacific Ocean carry evidence of exposure to a class of toxic pollutants, with whales living around the Galapagos Islands showing the strongest signs of exposure, according to a new study.

"This is the first time this kind of pollution study has been done on a whole ocean level using a threatened species as a sentinel species," said Celine Godard-Codding, the lead researcher and an environmental toxicologist at Texas Tech University.

Sperm whales can live up to 70 years, feeding on squid, fish and octopus. Males of the species can grow up to 60 feet (18 meters) long. As large, long-lived carnivores, they can accumulate pollutants in their body fat.

The team took small tissue samples from 234 sperm whales in five regions in the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean and looked for an enzyme that breaks down a class of chemicals called aromatic hydrocarbons. These include harmful pollutants like dioxins, PCBs and a group called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are produced during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas and other organic substances. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PAHs may cause cancer, as well as reproductive, skin and immune system problems.

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Ozzy Osbourne, Not a Justin Bieber Fan

6:03:13 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010
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Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin

5:55:08 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

"September 1, 1939, the day Hitler's army invaded Poland, is one of the most infamous dates of the 20th century. But how many of us recall September 17, 1939, when Soviet forces charged into Poland from the west? Germany and Russia, acting together on terms laid out in a secret pact, tried to destroy an entire country - and nearly succeeded. The sinister partnership would not last. Two years later, Hitler turned on Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union, which would spell doom for the Wehrmacht. In the West, we think of the heroics of D-Day, but it was the Soviet Army that ultimately broke the Nazi war machine; the British and Americans merely finished it off. Stalin ends up in the history books as a saviour, along with Churchill and Roosevelt, in the struggle against Hitler.

Even now, it is far easier to think of Stalin as an opponent of Hitler than as a partner. We like to tell ourselves that the virtuous side won the war, but what happened in the east confounds such notions. Even before a shot was fired, Stalin had the blood of a nearly four million Soviet citizens on his hands. Between them, the Soviets and Germans killed nearly 200,000 Poles - targeting doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors, and religious figures. They all died in a region that the historian Timothy Snyder, in his striking and important new book, calls the "bloodlands".

It was a place of shifting allegiances, an ethnic and linguistic patchwork. The zone extended east from central Poland into western Russia, and from the Baltic States in the north to the Black Sea in the south. It was a place where German, Slavic, Baltic and Jewish cultures collided and mingled.

This was the terrain of Europe's killing fields, "where the power and malice of the Nazi and Soviet regimes overlapped and interacted". Here is where the Holocaust unfolded with a grim relentlessness. The scale of battles - at Kursk, for example, where some 7,000 German and Soviet tanks clashed - dwarfed any of those fought on the Western front. The death toll, civilian and military, exceeded 20 million. Some of the regions of the bloodlands were doubly or triply occupied. It was a theatre of immense, pervasive suffering, which almost defies comprehension..."

-- Review of a book by Timothy Snyder that is getting excellent feedback everywhere.

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Zero Footprint Shirt: Leaf Series

5:46:09 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

-- Green clothing line?!? 5 Different patterns/colors to choose from! Follow the links to see the rest.

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Old Picture of the Day: Old Tractor

5:35:36 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

-- 1943.

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Chinese Archaeologists Unearth 2,400-Year-Old 'Soup'

5:18:26 PM, Monday, December 13, 2010

"Chinese archaeologists have unearthed what they believe is a 2,400-year-old pot of soup, state media report.

The liquid and bones were in a sealed bronze cooking vessel dug up near the ancient capital of Xian - home to the country's famed terracotta warriors.

Tests are being carried out to identify the ingredients. An odourless liquid, believed to be wine, was also found.

The pots were discovered in a tomb being excavated to make way for an extension to the local airport..."

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Launching the U.S.S. Fort Worth

11:47:29 PM, Sunday, December 12, 2010
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