Friday, December 28, 2007

10 of The Most Interesting Images of 2007


Darth Vader on Acid

More photos.

A First Person Account from Pakistan After Bhutto Assassinated

My mom, brothers and sister in law and I were shopping when I received a text from my father asking us to come to the hotel because he feared for our safety since Benazir Bhutto had been shot. I ran inside the store to tell my mother this, and as we were running out of building filled with small shops, all I saw was mass amounts of dust in the air and people running all over the place panicked. All I heard was people yelling and telling us not to go outside because people might be shooting in the streets and told us to just keep going upstairs. We all started running up the stairs and stopped on the second floor and I noticed that my mother was panicking and crying. I realized that my legs and hands were shaking and I felt a sense of helplessness that I can't even explain to you at this moment. I only kept thinking of the fires I had seen being set to markets in the past when there have been riots in the city and my only thought was that if this happened to this building, how were we going to escape.
After another minute on the road and realizing that the main road to the hotel is the one where Benazir Bhutto was first attacked in October...and there will be chaos there as well...we decided that it was in our best interest to just be inside.
I am here right now, with my brothers, sister in law and mother. My father is with my grandmother and great aunt at their house. We are told that it is not safe to be at the hotel at this time since places with foreigners get targeted as well.
We have no idea how long we will be here...there is a strike in the city for three days, during which anything can happen...
My legs and arms have stopped shaking and my heart is still beating. My chest feels tight.
I'll cry later.
We are safe, for now.


WiTricity - Wireless Electricity Transmission

Various methods of transmitting power wirelessly have been known for centuries. Perhaps the best known example is electromagnetic radiation, such as radio waves. While such radiation is excellent for wireless transmission of information, it is not feasible to use it for power transmission. Since radiation spreads in all directions, a vast majority of power would end up being wasted into free space.

One can envision using directed electromagnetic radiation, such as lasers, but this is not very practical and can even be dangerous. It requires an uninterrupted line of sight between the source and the device, as well as a sophisticated tracking mechanism when the device is mobile.

The key: Magnetically coupled resonance
In contrast, WiTricity is based on using coupled resonant objects. Two resonant objects of the same resonant frequency tend to exchange energy efficiently, while interacting weakly with extraneous off-resonant objects. A child on a swing is a good example of this. A swing is a type of mechanical resonance, so only when the child pumps her legs at the natural frequency of the swing is she able to impart substantial energy.
Still, for laptop-sized coils, power levels more than sufficient to run a laptop can be transferred over room-sized distances nearly omni-directionally and efficiently, irrespective of the geometry of the surrounding space, even when environmental objects completely obstruct the line-of-sight between the two coils. Fisher points out: "As long as the laptop is in a room equipped with a source of such wireless power, it would charge automatically, without having to be plugged in. In fact, it would not even need a battery to operate inside of such a room." In the long run, this could reduce our society's dependence on batteries, which are currently heavy and expensive.
WiTricity is rooted in such well-known laws of physics that it makes one wonder why no one thought of it before. "In the past, there was no great demand for such a system, so people did not have a strong motivation to look into it," points out Joannopoulos, adding, "Over the past several years, portable electronic devices, such as laptops, cell phones, iPods and even household robots have become widespread, all of which require batteries that need to be recharged often."

As for what the future holds, Soljacic adds, "Once, when my son was about three years old, we visited his grandparents' house. They had a 20-year-old phone and my son picked up the handset, asking, 'Dad, why is this phone attached with a cord to the wall?' That is the mindset of a child growing up in a wireless world. My best response was, 'It is strange and awkward, isn't it? Hopefully, we will be getting rid of some more wires, and also batteries, soon.'"


Fast Charging Breakthrough Battery

A new battery that can be recharged to 90 percent capacity in under five minutes and lasts 10 years will start shipping in March, Toshiba Corp. announced this week, hailing it as "a new energy solution" for cleaner transportation.


Cool Optical Illusion Building

From flickr.

Gun Abstinence


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Amazing Child Prodigies

Alia Sabur is a well known American child prodigy. Born in February of 1989, Alia was one of the youngest people to ever enter college. She attended SUNY Stony Brook at 10 years old, and graduated summa-cum-laude at age 14. She had also received a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the young age of 9. She was accepted to Drexel University to complete her Ph.D. degree at the age of 14 in the area of Material Science and Engineering. According to her website she had started walking and talking at 8 months old, and was reading full novels by age two. She also began writing around the same time. She had completed the entire elementary school curriculum by the end of kindergarten and completed the New York Stat math regents (grade 9) at eight years old. Alia is also considered a musical prodigy, performing Concerto No. 1 and beginning clarinet studies with Ricardo Morales in 2000 at age 11. In 2004 Alia was named the DDSEG (Department of Defense) Fellow, the youngest ever named.

Michael Kearney began to speak at the age of 4 months and by 6 months had a strong enough grasp on the English language to say to his pediatrician “I have a left ear infection.” Unfortunately, at a young age he was also diagnosed with ADD but of course this did not stop this child prodigy from achieving academic success. He finished high school at age 6, received an Associate of Science degree in geology at age 8, and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama at age 10, making him the worlds youngest university graduate. He received his first Master’s degree in biochemistry from Middle Tennessee State University at age 14. His thesis title was “Kinetic Isotope Effects of Thymidine Phosphorylase.” By taking a position at Vanderbilt University at age 16 Michael became the youngest person to teach at a college. To relax, Michael enjoys playing a few hands of Texas Hold’em Poker.


Brawndo Ad

From Idiocracy

IFPI: ISPs Should Block Torrent

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is trying to convince European lawmakers that ISPs should take extreme measures to fight piracy. They suggest that ISPs should block access to websites such as The Pirate Bay, and block filesharing protocols, no matter what they’re being used for.

Yes, let's just expand on this concept... all phones should be tapped, just in case someone is doing something illegal, and actually make the call drop if they mention some trigger words such as "crime" and "bomb". Newspapers and blogs should also be censored, gotta make sure there's no sensitive information leaked...

Might as well go ahead and cut someone's electricity if they use too much, and make sure water is limited too. It's good for the environment, so let's just force it on people, and make sure to charge more too, to compensate the overhead of controlling it.

Meanwhile, gotta be certain sites in Tanzania adhere to US and EU laws. It's also probably a good idea to adjust the US constitution to biblical law, and make sure the EU also adopts that.

Wake up, people. The genie is out of the bottle, learn to live with it, embrace it and make the most of it.

Nick Patera, Countertenor
According to Wikipedia, a Countertenor is:
an adult male who sings in an alto, mezzo-soprano or (more rarely) soprano range, often through use of falsetto, or sometimes natural head voice. This term is used almost exclusively in the context of the classical vocal tradition, although numerous popular artists have employed falsetto singing.[1] The countertenor voice went through a massive resurgence in popularity in the second half of the 20th century, partly due to pioneers such as Alfred Deller, by the increased popularity of Baroque opera and the need of male singers to replace the castrati roles in such works.

Thanks to Dr. Dan, via Saynotocrack.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Digital Cameras - Best Picture Quality: 6 MP!

“The more pixels, the worse the image!”

But why? Well, compact cameras are supposed to be small and reasonably priced. Therefore small image sensors, e.g. format 7.5 x 9.4 mm or 5.4 x 6.8 mm, are built into the cameras. To increase the pixel count, the sensor has to be divided into smaller and smaller pixels.

The result is a decrease in sensitivity of the camera and an increase in noise because the amount of light collected by a single pixel is smaller. At the same time, increasing the number of pixels is supposed to lead to more details (resolution), but in order to achieve that better lenses with high resolution and a lower lateral chromatic abberation are needed. However better lenses are bigger and don’t fulfill the requirements for ’small’ cameras any more.

In the meantime, the pixels have become so small that the physical phenomenon of diffraction causes a loss of details with smaller apertures (with pixels below 2 microns already from f-stop 3.5). In addition, the data sizes of uncompressed images from cameras with 12 megapixels are approx. 36 MB/ picture. This data flood results in long editing times and requires huge storage capacities. So actually, what is critical for the listed problems isn’t the number of pixels but the size of each one. But in order to make pixels bigger, the sensor must be enlarged and along with that the camera with the lens gets bigger. That defeats the point of how big a ‘compact’ camera should be for consumers.


The World's Fastest Clapper

Big Oil - We Own the Sun... er...

Cluster Balooning

Like hot-air balloons, cluster balloons are flown in the very early morning, when winds are calm. In some areas, it is also possible to fly in the evening, in the hour or two before sunset. Preparations for a morning flight flight start before dawn. The balloons range in size from four to seven feet; depending on the mix of sizes, anywhere from 50 to 150 balloons may be needed. It takes a crew of fiften to twenty people about an hour and a half to inflate the balloons. Special hoses and manifolds are used to inflate the balloons to the desired size, based on the volume of the helium tanks. The inflated balloons are sealed using tape and cable ties, and are tied with nylon twine.


The One-Inch Punch

Dr. Dan and I invented a new cocktail. The One-Inch Punch. Here's the recipe:
- 1 measure of fruit punch energy drink (Archer Farm/ Target) or Red Bull
- 1/2 measure of red fruit punch drink
- 1 measure of Black Death Vodka
- 1 measure of Absynth

Pour one inch in a shot glass, and enjoy with caution, you don't want to go Bruce Lee on people.

Monday, December 24, 2007

OLPC - Designer Talks About the $100 Laptop

From here.

Mr. Bean's iPod

Brain Controlled Computers

We Use 10% of Our Brain? Not really! This and Other Myths

They are the universal pearls of wisdom that explain some of the more puzzling things about the human body and help people live healthy lives: don't read in dim light, drink eight glasses of water a day and don't use mobile phones in hospitals.

The problem is: there is no evidence to suggest that these gems of advice are actually true. In a study out today researchers have scoured through leading databases of medical research to test whether any of the most commonly held beliefs among doctors and patients bear any links to reality.

The two doctors behind the research wanted to remind their colleagues that anyone could get things wrong and suggested that doctors should think twice about commonly held ideas that might not be based on evidence.

"We got fired up about this because we knew that physicians accepted these beliefs and were passing this information along to their patients. And these beliefs are frequently cited in the popular media. We didn't set out to become myth busters," said Aaron Carroll of the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis.

Everyone must drink at least eight glasses of water a day

This advice is thought to have originated in 1945 from the Nutrition Council in the US, which suggested people needed to consume 2.5 litres of water a day. But Vreeman said the water contained in food, particularly fruit and vegetables, as well as in milk, juice, coffee and soft drinks, also counts towards the total.

We only use 10% of our brains

"The myth arose as early as 1907, propagated by multiple sources advocating the power of self-improvement and tapping into each person's unrealised latent abilities," say Vreeman and Carroll. "The many functions of the brain are highly localised, with different tasks allocated to different anatomical regions. Detailed probing of the brain has failed to identify the 'non-functioning' 90%."

Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death

According to Vreeman, the myth persists because of an optical illusion. "As the body's skin is drying out, soft tissue, especially skin, is retracting. The nails appear much more prominent as the skin dries out." The same is true, but less obvious, with hair. "As the skin is shrinking back, the hair looks more prominent or sticks up a bit." The actual growth of hair and nails requires a complex set of precisely regulated hormones, which do not continue after death.

Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight

Generations of parents have warned their children not to read in poor light, telling them that it could somehow damage their sight. Though dim lighting can cause stress in the eye, the important thing to remember, say the researchers, is that the effects are not permanent. "Suboptimal lighting can create a sensation of having difficulty in focusing. It also decreases the rate of blinking and leads to discomfort from drying. The important counterpoint is that these effects do not persist."

Traffic jam mystery solved by mathematicians

The team developed a mathematical model to show the impact of unexpected events such as a lorry pulling out of its lane on a dual carriageway. Their model revealed that slowing down below a critical speed when reacting to such an event, a driver would force the car behind to slow down further and the next car back to reduce its speed further still.

The result of this is that several miles back, cars would finally grind to a halt, with drivers oblivious to the reason for their delay. The model predicts that this is a very typical scenario on a busy highway (above 15 vehicles per km). The jam moves backwards through the traffic creating a so-called ‘backward travelling wave’, which drivers may encounter many miles upstream, several minutes after it was triggered.

Steampunk Wrist-Watches and Others


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Blogs!

I've created three new blogs!

This is Florida is to be filled with tips for people living or visiting Florida. From what to do to what not to do; for fun, work or just random crazy Florida stuff.

English, etc. is for non-native English speakers. It will have useful examples, language coaching tips, quirky expressions, humorous snippets and more.

Check them out and spread the word.

P.S. I also have another blog, but it's restricted, by invitation only. If you're interested send me a message. Men only, sorry girls.

Staring Competition

Greetings Staredown fans,

As the Commissioner of the NASP, it's my pleasure to welcome you to the official NASP website.

Since its founding in 1997, the NASP's foremost mission has been to unite the previously fractured elements of the Staredown community. The launch of is yet another sign of the progress we've made in this regard.

With the upcoming release of Unflinching Triumph: The Philip Rockhammer Story, we firmly believe this is the perfect time for the launch of this website. J.R. McCord's documentary will shed new light on our athletes, fans, and the league that brought new legitimacy to this ancient sport.

Staredown is a sport that requires focus, concentration, and endurance. Through the course of history, from the caves of the Neanderthal Man to the playgrounds of suburban America, Staredown has been practiced by commoners and merchants, peasants and royalty alike. But only recently has this sport achieved the official recognition it deserves.

NASP Site.(National Association of Staredown Professionals)

“The Big Space F**k” - Kurt Vonnegut

“The Big Space F**k”
Kurt Vonnegut

“What was the dirtiest story I ever wrote?” wrote Kurt Vonnegut in “Palm Sunday,” his 1981 “autobiographical collage.” “Surely ‘The Big Space F**k,’ the first story of literature to have ‘f**k’ in its title. It was probably the last short story I will ever write. I did it for my friend Harlan Ellison, who printed it in his anthology ‘Again, Dangerous Visions.’” It’s a terrific, and terrifically relevant, story. I found only a fragment of it on the Web. Here’s the story in full as it appeared in “Palm Sunday,” courtesy of the Notebooks’ head clerk, O.C.R.


In 1987 it became possible in the United States of America for a young person to sue his parents for the way he had been raised. He could take them to court and make them pay money and even serve jail terms for serious mistakes they made when he was just a helpless little kid. This was not only an effort to achieve justice but to discourage reproduction, since there wasn’t anything much to eat any more. Abortions were free. In fact, any woman who volunteered for one got her choice of a bathroom scale or a table lamp.

Guinness is Officially Good for You

A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks.

Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US.

The Wisconsin team tested the health-giving properties of stout against lager by giving it to dogs who had narrowed arteries similar to those in heart disease.

They found that those given the Guinness had reduced clotting activity in their blood, but not those given lager.

More, from the BBC of course.

Man Finds Birth Mother... at Work

For years, Steve Flaig, a delivery-truck driver at a Lowe's store here, had searched for his birth mother.

He found her working the cash register at the front of the store.

For several months, he and Christine Tallady had known each other casually as co-workers. Last Friday, they met for the first time as mother and son.

"I have a complete family now, all my kids," said Tallady, who has two younger children. "It's a perfect time of year. It's the best Christmas present ever."

He searched the Internet for her address and came up empty. In October, around the time he turned 22, he looked at the paperwork from D.A. Blodgett and realized he had been spelling his mother's surname incorrectly as "Talladay." He typed "Tallady" into a search engine and came up with an address less than a mile from the Lowe's store.

He mentioned it to his boss, and she said, "You mean Chris Tallady, who works here?"

Flaig was stunned.

"I was like, there's no possible way," he said. "It's just such a bizarre situation."


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Faith on Physics

Professor Lewin puts his life on the line in Lecture 11 by demonstrating his faith in the Conservation of Mechanical Energy.

Thanks to Dr.Dan

Japanese Girl Fights Mugger

Way to go!

Giuliani Xmas Snafu

Rudy Giuliani's new campaign ad features the candidate attempting to soften his tough-guy image by wearing a fuzzy red sweater vest while sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Speaking in jovial tones, he confides to the viewer, "I'll be working to get everyone the same gift: a safer America, lower taxes, secure borders, job growth, fiscal discipline, strict constructionist judges -- and probably a fruitcake or something."

"I want names and I want them now, Mr. Mayor," demanded Scarborough. "Who put you in that red vest? Who told you this was a commercial that would help you in Iowa? My god, who put the Klieg lights on your forehead while Mike Huckabee had the soft Barbara Walters vaseline-smeared-on-the-lens glow?"

"You know, it's almost like he's spoofing," suggested Geist again. "Maybe that was a spoof?"

"This is surreal," Scarborough marveled. "What a long, strange trip it's been," he added, quoting the Grateful Dead in attempt to do justice to the situation.

Scarborough's final comment was,"Mike Huckabee needs to critique that ad. ... We'll see how much Christmas spirit he has. We'll see if Jesus can get him to say something nice about Rudy Giuliani's ad."

Huckabee has received criticism for injecting religion into politics with his own Christmas ad, stating that "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ," which some people found offensive. However, Giuliani's ad, which is already being described in the blogs as a "turn to the absurd," may attract even more unfavorable attention.

This video is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast on December 19, 2007.


Russian Crazy Photos

These are photos of one Russian online community members of which enjoy making some staged photos with creepy plot. Here we have some of their recent topics, like:

“A Cheating Wife: You need to make a photo of a man, “a lover”, hanging outside the real window. The window should be not lower than a 3rd store of a multi-stored building. “A husband” should lean out from another window with a gun, aiming at “the lover”. From yet another window “the cheating wife” should look out in despair.”

“The Waiter: A man dressed like a water should crawl out of a refuse chute in some multi-stored building, right from the disposal opening. He should hold a tray with some servings and a towel in another hand”

“A Zombie: A man, rolled up in bandages should crawl on his stomach at a pedestrian crossing. He should have a knife sticking out of his back. Another guy should chase him with a working chainsaw”

“The Pickles: Make a photo of many jars of pickles. Some of them should have pickled cell-phones. Not less than five cell phones in each jar please”

“A Pyramid: You should have a three level pyramid on the photo. The first level is some random truck, the second is a passenger car and some two-wheeled thing on the top of “the pyramid” please.”

Now see what they got shot after they got those tasks. The members of this community live in different Russian cities, they make the photos in their own neighborhoods, right in the middle of the day while sudden passers-by watching them doing this stuff.

I wonder if the Russian are attempting to surpass the Japanese on my book.

No Small World for Fatties

Disneyland announces plans to close the "It's a Small World" attraction to deepen its water channel after the ride's boats start getting stuck under loads of heavy passengers. Employees ask larger passengers to disembark - and compensate them with coupons for free food.

Plenty more interesting stuff at CNN.
Thanks to GBG.

Science Requires Faith?

“Gravity,” goes the slogan on posters and bumper stickers. “It isn’t just a good idea. It’s the law.”

And what a law. Unlike, say, traffic or drug laws, you don’t have a choice about obeying gravity or any of the other laws of physics. Jump and you will come back down. Faith or good intentions have nothing to do with it.
Are they merely fancy bookkeeping, a way of organizing facts about the world? Do they govern nature or just describe it? And does it matter that we don’t know and that most scientists don’t seem to know or care where they come from?

Apparently it does matter, judging from the reaction to a recent article by Paul Davies, a cosmologist at Arizona State University and author of popular science books, on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

Dr. Davies asserted in the article that science, not unlike religion, rested on faith, not in God but in the idea of an orderly universe. Without that presumption a scientist could not function. His argument provoked an avalanche of blog commentary, articles on and letters to The Times, pointing out that the order we perceive in nature has been explored and tested for more than 2,000 years by observation and experimentation. That order is precisely the hypothesis that the scientific enterprise is engaged in testing.
If the laws of physics are to have any sticking power at all, to be real laws, one could argue, they have to be good anywhere and at any time, including the Big Bang, the putative Creation. Which gives them a kind of transcendent status outside of space and time.

On the other hand, many thinkers — all the way back to Augustine — suspect that space and time, being attributes of this existence, came into being along with the universe — in the Big Bang, in modern vernacular. So why not the laws themselves?

Dr. Davies complains that the traditional view of transcendent laws is just 17th-century monotheism without God. “Then God got killed off and the laws just free-floated in a conceptual vacuum but retained their theological properties,” he said in his e-mail message.


“Don’t Tase Me, Bro” tops ‘07 memorable quote list

“Don’t Tase Me, Bro,” a phrase that swept the nation after a U.S. college student used it seeking to stop campus police from throwing him out of a speech by Sen. John Kerry, was named on Wednesday as the most memorable quote of 2007.

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, said the plea made by University of Florida student Andrew Meyer on September 17, accompanied by Meyer’s screams as he was tased, beat out the racial slur that cost shock jock Don Imus his job and the Iranian president’s declaration that his country does not have homosexuals.


Stairway to Heaven by The Beatles

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

20 Things That Are True But Nobody Wants to Admit

20. We all love a good musical. Admit it. You turn on High School Musical or Grease and next thing you know you've watched the whole darn thing.

19. Even guys think David Beckham is good looking. We compensate for it by making fun of his voice and saying we hate him but there is not a guy on earth that wouldn't like have the ladies throwing themselves at you .

18. Motorcycles are unsafe. It's not IF you are going to get hurt, but how bad

15. Valentines day is worthless. It's becoming more and more meaningless each year. Kind of like Microsoft.

14. You will never stay thin without exercise. You can diet all you want but it is next to impossible to diet forever.

11. We hire people based on looks. You're not supposed to, but we all do it. Two people equally qualified will be decided on which one looks best. I choose the personality I can get along with best , but ugly usually loses. Not legal, not right , but true.

10. We overmedicate. Your body is made to heal itself of simple things. If you eat correctly, get a good nights sleep, and exercise, for the most part your body can take care of itself. If you take ibuprofen every day then how is your body going to learn to take care of itself?

9. Creativity is under emphasized. It's hard to put your creativity on a resume but it's a trait that is highly desired and needed in business. Everyone copies or improves. Creative people approach from a whole new angle.

8. "Inch by inch, life's a cinch" If you do a little everyday things will get done. Procrastinate or try and do everything at once and you will fail.

7. Republicans have 0 percent chance in the next election. I don't care if Reagan came back. This one goes to the other team this year. Let them figure out how to get out of the war.

6. The anonymity of the Internet has turned the younger generation into a bunch of online punks. The way they talk to each other on line is shameful. If some of these guys talked to me like that in person I would put them down like Chuck Lidell.

5. A human life is worth more than an animal's. Despite what PETA and the other crazy groups will tell you. DO NOT harm a human to save an animal. (This does not mean I don't value an animals life, it just means that if an animal were dying and I was dying, I think there are some people that would help the animal first and let me die)

4. A person that doesn't smoke is EXTREMELY bothered by someone who does right next to them. We never say anything because we don't want to cause a scene or make someone mad but almost everyone is bothered by it. Laws will take care of this over next couple years.

From here.

Air Show

A closeup of the above pic, notice the visual distortion caused by the shockwaves... cool huh?
The jet itself is not yet supersonic, but is in the transonic region. The air itself is accelerated to supersonic speed when it encounters an obstruction (like a bump on the fuselage). When it slows back down below supersonic speed, it creates a pressure wave which causes the visual distortions. Those pressure waves can be seen radiating from specific points on the aircraft (including the canopy). Someone sent me this explanation...I filed the note away, but can't seem to find it at the moment! I'll properly credit it when I find the name.

More cool pics.
Thanks to BG

Funny Images: Sense


Monday, December 17, 2007

Homer Simpson takes a photo of himself everyday for 39 years
See our previous post.

Last Goodbye - Photo

An Iranian man waves final good-bye to his relatives before being hanged, in Teheran, Aug. 2, 2007. Two men were hanged for murdering a judge in 2005. This was the first time Iran had implemented hanging in public since 2002.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tattooed Giselle Bundchen

Oh boy... that's so good it's almost too much.

Animated T-Shirts Music Video

Thanks to Aline
P.S. The ones below are for real:

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Price Tag for the Republican Nomination? US$19.5B

Mitt Romney's VC Firm to Buy Clear Channel

What would it cost to buy the support of just about every nationally syndicated neocon talk show host in America? About $19.5 billion, which is what Mitt Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners have agreed to pay in a leveraged buyout agreement with Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio station owner in the country. This is part of a negotiation that has been pending for over a year.

Clear Channel owns more than 1,100 full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations, twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and more than 30 television stations in the United States. Premiere Radio Networks, which is the largest syndication company in the United States, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clear Channel and is home to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many others. Sean Hannity recently signed a large multi-market contract with Clear Channel, as well.

From an anonymous email:

"I'll bet those hosts won't reveal that conflict of interest, but it's worth noting when you hear them begin hyping Romney, which has already begun. A lot of GOP supporters will support whomever they are told to support, so be prepared for a big push for Romney. On the bright side, Romney has more vulnerabilities than Rudy, based on his record. Look at this as the GOP establishment doing us a favor. Rich men can bankroll their own campaigns (a la John Kerry), but it takes a special breed to use investors' money to buy entire networks that can operate as passive wings of a presidential campaign."

It should be noted that Mitt Romney, while no longer the CEO, remains a silent partner of Bain Capital.


Despite pseudo-libertarian pep-talks, capitalism/ free market *does not* equate to democracy.

A democracy only works with education, freedom of the press and individual rights. When corporations buy, bribe and twist the system, democracy breaks down. Capitalism is great, but with oversight. What is capitalism's objective, by definition? Profit. What is the ultimate way to maximize profits? Slavery, even if masqueraded as a life of impoverished servitude where the banks are the ones who own your house, your car, etc.

8 Years in a Few Seconds

Living My Life Faster - 8 years of JK's Daily Photo Project from c71123 on Vimeo.
Very cool. More.

The Real Mr. Fusion? Getting Oil and Gas from Trash

Frank Pringle has found a way to squeeze oil and gas from just about anything

Everything that goes into Frank Pringle’s recycling machine—a piece of tire, a rock, a plastic cup—turns to oil and natural gas seconds later. “I’ve been told the oil companies might try to assassinate me,” Pringle says without sarcasm.

The machine is a microwave emitter that extracts the petroleum and gas hidden inside everyday objects—or at least anything made with hydrocarbons, which, it turns out, is most of what’s around you. Every hour, the first commercial version will turn 10 tons of auto waste—tires, plastic, vinyl—into enough natural gas to produce 17 million BTUs of energy (it will use 956,000 of those BTUs to keep itself running).

Pringle has spent 10 years and $1 million homing in on frequencies for hundreds of materials. In 2004 he teamed up with engineer pal Hawk Hogan to take the machine commercial.

Their first order is under construction in Rockford, Illinois. It’s a $5.1-million microwave machine the size of small bus called the Hawk, bound for an auto-recycler in Long Island, New York. More deals loom: The U.S. military may use Hawks in Iraq on waste such as water bottles and food containers. Oil companies are looking to the machines to gasify petroleum trapped in shale.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

National Geographic - Amazing Camels Photo

How to Pose Like This

Simpson's Spider-Pig Flies Over London

Fox has used the cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ record as an inspiration to promote the ‘Simpsons Movie’ in London. As you can see in the pictures, Spiderpig has been located in the same general position as the pig that appears on the cover of the record.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

UPS Saves 28.5 Million Miles by Eliminating Left Turns

The company employs what it calls a “package flow” software program, which among other hyperefficient practices involving the packing and sorting of its cargo, maps out routes for every one of its drivers, drastically reducing the number of left-hand turns they make (taking into consideration, of course, those instances where not to make the left-hand turn would result in a ridiculously circuitous route).

Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons. So what can Brown do for you? We can’t speak to how good or bad they are in the parcel-delivery world, but they won’t be clogging up the left-hand lane while they do their business.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Muad'dib Mouse Found: Long-Eared Jerboa

The long-eared jerboa lives in the desert of northwestern China and southern Mongolia. Little is known about its behavior, but it is believed that its movement by quick jumps aids it in evading predators. Currently the long-eared jerboa is believed to be threatened by human disturbance of its deserts, livestock intrusion, and droughts. Dr. Jonathan Baillie, the lead scientists on the expedition which took the footage, described his first encounter with the small mammal on the EDGE blog: "As I peered in the trap my eyes were met with one of the most unusual creatures I had ever seen. I could not believe that such a strange and delicate looking animal could be at home in such a harsh environment."

More. Video at MSNBC.

Reminds me of Dune's Muad'dib, the desert kangaroo mouse!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Winson the Water Fountain Man

Hm... maybe a candidate for "Zeroes"?

Now, That's a Radio Station

Radio Muzyka Fakty (RFM-FM).

Fuel-Less Gravity Powered Airplanes

The "Gravity-Plane", as Hunt Aviation likes to call it, uses gravity's dual properties - buoyancy which creates an upward motion in order to gain altitude, and gravity acceleration which creates a forward and downward gliding motion. The two motions combined form the heart of Hunt's new gravity powered technology, a technology that could make for a much healthier and cleaner environment.

In the Hunt Aviation's "Gravity-Plane", buoyancy is created by gas bags filled with helium within two large rigid pontoon shaped lifting bodies. This buoyancy lifts the "Gravity-Plane" to high altitudes to create lighter-than-air lift.

Despite being a better "lifting gas" than Helium, Hydrogen is generally not used in this way because it is combustible. Inert Helium, widely used in lighter-than-air airships, can now be used to attain altitudes of over 100,000 feet and may be built very large to carry heavy loads of passengers and cargo approaching 1,000 tons according to Hunt. By comparison, a U. S. military C-17 heavy lifter only carries 70 tons.

Obvious benefits of the technology are that the aircraft does not require fuel, which is aviation's main cost. This also makes the aircraft safer in terms of fuel burning or exploding. Furthermore, having no waste emissions or noise, the aircraft is extremely environmentally friendly. "Hunt's invention is the first practical use of gravity to provide a motive force by forming a continuous cycle out of two forces of gravity with the result being, for the first time ever, self-sustained fuel-less flight and this is a tremendous and historic accomplishment", stated Gene Cox, President of Hunt Aviation Corp.


A Different Reaction

What are the odds something silly like this would stir a commotion among non-jews? I'm sure there are sane people, but it just seems like nowadays Christians would be all offended, Evangelicals would start foaming and Muslims would issue a fatwah...

A posh food store in New York's Greenwich Village has found itself red faced after offering hams for sale with the slogan "Delicious for Hanukkah," the current Jewish religious holiday.

The non-kosher labelling was spotted at the weekend by Manhattan novelist Nancy Kay Shapiro, 46, who decided instead of alerting management to take a picture of the unorthodox sign and post it on the Internet.

"I just thought it was funny," Shapiro, who described herself as an unobservant Jew, told the New York Post. "I wasn't offended in any way. I just thought, here's somebody who knows nothing about what Jews eat."
Pork and shellfish are among the foods considered unclean under Jewish law.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Star Trek Inspirational Posters


Zetix Blast-Proof Fabric

Zetix is a fabric so strong it will resist multiple car bomb blasts without breaking. It absorbs and disperses the energy from explosions thanks to an inner structure so adamantiumtastic it can be used in body armor, window covering, military tents and hurricane defenses...

When not shielding from explosions, it can be used as medical sutures that won't damage body tissue. All of this is thanks to a property that apparently defies the laws of physics:

Zetix is built around the principle of auxetics: objects that actually get fatter the more you stretch them.

To demonstrate how Zetix works, the best thing is to look how a thread behaves. When you jump from a bridge using a bungee cord, the force of gravity acting over your body weight will stretch it as you go down in free fall. While this happens, the cord threads will stretch getting closer together and making the cord get thinner as it expands through a larger distance.

However, if you coil a line around the bungee cord, something that defies logic will happen: the whole structure will get wider as it stretches. As you can see in the image, the line around the bungee cord becomes taut, making the bungee itself flex outward. This principle is called helical-auxetics. When you put two of these threads together, you have what Reed Richards would call an auxetic structure.

This material has other uses beyond terrorist attacks or battle scenarios, said Dr. Hook. The fabrics can "provide sustained protection and gives emergency services extra time to rescue trapped or injured people," and can offer effective protection against natural forces like hurricanes, as well as be deployed in containment systems, military tents, ballistic mosquito nets and body armor, a $2 billionpret-a-porter market.

This is definetly Nobel prize material. It's like Velcro in its simplicity!


Sports News: