Saturday, September 9, 2006

List of TV shows canceled after one episode

Read the list on Wikipedia.

Elephant Capable of Humanlike Sounds

He's no Dumbo the Flying Elephant but with his ability to "speak," perhaps as close to the Disney cartoon character as a real life elephant can get.

sel10709080928-small.jpgThe Everland amusement park said Friday its 16-year-old male Asian elephant, named Kosik, can make sounds imitating up to eight Korean words, including "sit," "no," "yes," and "lie down."

The pachyderm produces humanlike sounds by putting his trunk in his mouth and shaking it while exhaling - similar to how people whistle with their fingers. But the park said it's unclear if Kosik knows the meaning of the sounds he makes.

Kim Jong-gap, who has been Kosik's keeper for 10 years, said he first heard the elephant speak two years ago.

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"It was hard to believe myself at first," Kim said in a statement. "As I watched Kosik say something after that, I realized he was mimicking my words."

There have been studies that suggest elephants can mimic sounds, but the park claims that Kosik displays the ability to imitate a human voice.

Spectrograms show Kosik's voice frequency when he makes human sounds are similar to his keeper's, Everland said. - more

Private: How Bush wants to make torture the law of the land

President George W. Bush wants to make torture of prisoners legal by steamrolling Congress into passing another bill, like the USA Patriot Act, that ignores freedoms that used to define America. ... Many of the harsh interrogation techniques repudiated by the Pentagon on Wednesday would be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration. And the courts would be forbidden from intervening. ... legal experts say it adds up to an apparently unique interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, one that could allow C.I.A. operatives and others to use many of the very techniques disavowed by the Pentagon, including stress positions, sleep deprivation and extreme temperatures.?It?s a Jekyll and Hyde routine,? Martin S. Lederman, who teaches constitutional law at Georgetown University, said of the administration?s dual approaches. ... torture-freedom.jpgThe CIA's "secret prisons" in Europe that critics said were little more than torture chambers generate intense debate within the Bush White House and with our foreign allies and led to yet another court decision declaring the CIA's activities illegal. ...

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the Bush Administration has sought to treat anyone accused of terrorism as military prisoners of wars and to deny them the rights due others charges with crimes under the Constitution. And the courts have repeatedly ruled against Bush and his actions....

[Reader Comments] "It is the way of evilness to crave sadism to be going on. As to why, I don't know. Sadism makes it very easy to spot evilness as only evilness has any interest in sadism. Goodness doesn't use sadism at all ever for any reason whatsoever."

"Hey, if you're not guilty of anything, then you shouldn't mind a little torture to prove you're innocent, right?"

"the Nazis have finally found a home: The United States of Dumbfuckistan. Now Amurrikans can understand how it happened in Germany."

Friday, September 8, 2006

Private: Running Crime Groups from Inside Prisons

Here's how some criminals were supposedly running crimes from inside prisons. They supposedly smuggled some cell phones in... the ugly way.
"Cellular telephones were found inside four prisoners in El Salvador's maximum-security prison, authorities said Wednesday.

wls_090706_cellphone_200.jpg The discovery was made Tuesday at the prison in Zacatecoluca, in central El Salvador, after suspicious officials took X-rays of each of the inmates, federal corrections chief Jaime Villanova said. The names of the prisoners, all members of the dangerous Mara Salvatrucha gang, were not released in order to avoid jeopardizing an ongoing investigation that began a month ago, he said. ...

Capt. Juan Ramon Arevalo, director of the prison known as Zacatras, said the gang members had introduced the cell phones, wrapped in plastic bags, into their bodies through their anuses. Authorities also found nine cell phone chips and one charger. "Each one had a cellular with a number of chips," Arevalo said, adding that one also had hidden a charger in his anal cavity. The inmates allegedly used cell phones to direct criminal activities on the street from inside the prison, Arevalo said.

Musical Recommendation: Justin Farren

Check out Justin Farren folks. There are some songs from his CD on his site. I've been listening to his CD a lot lately. Great stuff! Going to see Justin tonight in Sacramento.
Justin Farren friday- September 8th 9pm @ the Fox'n'Goose on 10th and R streets, Sacramento CA. W/ Sean Hayashi $3-5 21 and over.


She’s Her Own Invisible Twin

Amazing. A handful of people are, on a DNA level, more than one person at the same time. Lydia gave birth to her children, but genetically she is only her children's aunt. The real mother is her invisible twin. Sound crazy and impossible? Read on...
abc_pt_medicalmysteries_060815_sp.jpg "... The Department of Social Services called [Lydia Fairchild] and told her to come in immediately. What Fairchild thought was a routine meeting with a social worker turned into an interrogation. ...

"As I sat down, they came up and shut the door, and they just went back and just started drilling me with questions like, 'Who are you?'" Fairchild said. The DNA test results challenged everything she knew about her family. Yes, her boyfriend was the father of the children, and, yes, they were all related, according to the DNA, except for Fairchild. She was told she wasn't the mother.

Fairchild was certain a mistake must have been made, but she recalled a social worker saying to her, "Nope. DNA is 100 percent foolproof and it doesn't lie."

Fairchild was not only denied government assistance for her young children, she was now suspected of possibly acting as a paid surrogate mother and committing welfare fraud. ... Fairchild called her obstetrician, Dr. Leonard Dreisbach. He was there for all the births and assured Fairchild he'd vouch for her in court. ... But none of that seemed to matter, because DNA tests were considered infallible ? the gold standard in court. DNA showed that Fairchild's genetic makeup did not match that of her children.

... then she got a break. Across the country, there was another woman with DNA that didn't match her children's, but in this case, the doctors had cracked the medical mystery. ...

180px-voila.jpg"Any child from a mom and dad should inherit genes from both the mom and the dad. In [Karen Keegan's] case, it appeared that her two boys hadn't inherited any of her DNA," said Dr. Lynne Uhl, a pathologist and doctor of transfusion medicine... Keegan told Uhl that she'd had a thyroid nodule removed a while back. After an extensive search, doctors found a sample of her thyroid tissue saved in a nearby lab in the Boston area. According to Uhl, this piece of tissue was the key to solving the medical mystery.

The DNA that would match her sons' DNA could have been anywhere in Keegan's body. But her thyroid was where she matched her sons' genetic code. The mystery was solved. In a way, Keegan was her own twin. ... "In her blood, she was one person, but in other tissues, she had evidence of being a fusion of two individuals," Uhl said. It's a rare condition called chimerism, with only 30 documented cases worldwide. ... In human biology, a chimera is an organism with at least two genetically distinct types of cells ? or, in other words, someone meant to be a twin. But while in the mother's womb, two fertilized eggs fuse, becoming one fetus that carries two distinct genetic codes ? two separate strands of DNA.

The twin is invisible, but for chimeras the twin lives microscopically inside the body as DNA.

When Uhl told Keegan she was her own twin, Keegan said she was shocked. "You wouldn't imagine that that could even be possible."

... After the [new] tests were done, there was proof that Fairchild was her own twin as well. The judge finally believed Fairchild was the biological mother of her children and dismissed the case." - abcnews

It is also possible for a single person to be genetically four different people. Part human part animal chimeras have also been created.

Fun: I found a maze, not sure where it goes.

If you have some time, you might want to play in this maze. I haven't gotten very far.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Two More Proven Conspiracy Theories

Conservatives, you should rethink the "tinfoil hat" reaction. Here are two more "nutty conspiracy theories" proven true: massive spying and secret prisons. Big secrets can and do stay hidden. Large conspiracies can be known by only a few top political leaders. Leaks can create a conspiracy theory.
"The [Secret black site CIA] prisons were ... illegal in the democratic countries in which they operated. Only a small handful of foreign intelligence officials -- and usually one or two top political leaders -- ever knew of their existence. Only CIA personnel were allowed on the sites, one of which was located on a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe. Others were once located in Thailand and Afghanistan." - washpost

Don't you love how Bush keeps saying we don't torture, thereby completely refuting all photo and video evidence to the contrary. See Abu Ghraib. Also, note the fall back to the next wall: Only 100 people were ever in the prisons. None are there now, and they were never tortured. Yeah, right.

Another conspiracy theory was that the government secretly monitored the phone conversations of every American. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Get your TINFOIL HAT! Ha ha. Well, that one is true too.
abc_ntl_tice2_060110_t.jpg"Tice says the technology exists to track and sort through every domestic and international phone call as they are switched through centers, such as one in New York, and to search for key words or phrases that a terrorist might use.

"If you picked the word 'jihad' out of a conversation," Tice said, "the technology exists that you focus in on that conversation, and you pull it out of the system for processing."

According to Tice, intelligence analysts use the information to develop graphs that resemble spiderwebs linking one suspect's phone number to hundreds or even thousands more." - abc

Will there be a "mood of relief" when it is finally revealed that 9/11 was an inside job to get popular support for a war?

Bin Laden ‘9/11 video’ broadcast

Compare the noses of Osama. One has a shorter fatter nose. The original Osama (Tim Osman) has a hecka long skinny nose. The real Osama supposedly entered Pakistan the day after 9/11 and died later from Kidney failure. The theory is: Bush knows his business partner and 9/11 patsy expired which is why years ago he said he's not concerned about Bin Laden. UPDATE 9/10/06: In code words, one might say the trail in seaching for Bin Laden was "stone cold".
Arabic TV channel Al-Jazeera has broadcast what it says is unseen footage of Osama Bin Laden meeting some 00008cb90b2.jpg of the 9/11 hijackers.

The channel said it showed al-Qaeda leaders "preparing for the attacks and practising their execution".

Bin Laden is seen walking outdoors in a mountainous area wearing a dark robe and white head gear.

The broadcast came four days before the fifth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks. - bbc


What they should do is have Guiliani personally capture one of their fake Osamas as he is attempting to paint a black eye on the Statue of Liberty... right before the elections. They could then have "Osama" say whatever they wanted. Keep all reporters but their own away due to the "intense security concerns." We got him! He admits everything! He and Saddam were secretly lovers and they hid Saddam's WMDs in Osama's mysterious expandable nose! And so on...

‘Virtually untreatable’ TB found

A "virtually untreatable" form of TB has emerged, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). _42052946_tb_spl_203b.jpgExtreme drug resistant TB (XDR TB) has been seen worldwide, including in the US, Eastern Europe and Africa, although Western Europe has had no cases.

Dr Paul Nunn, from the WHO, said a failure to correctly implement treatment strategies was to blame. TB experts have convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss how to address the problem.? TB presently causes about 1.7 million deaths a year worldwide, but researchers are worried about the emergence of strains that are resistant to drugs. ...

XDR TB is defined as strains that are not only resistant to the front-line drugs, but also three or more of the six classes of second-line drugs. This, according to Dr Paul Nunn, coordinator of the WHO team at the Stop TB department, makes it virtually untreatable. - bbc

Strange “Fire Balls” seen in ND skies

If you were looking up in the sky tonight, you couldn't miss them. Three large balls of fire.

96312500000015107.jpg So what were they?

According to a Bismarck man, they were mostly likely three parts of the same meteor.

Here's what one of them looked like... a lot like a comet.

But William Pearce, who holds his PHD in Astronomy and teaches at Bismarck State College says this was probably just one peice of three from the same meteor.

It's not every day you see meteors falling from the sky.

But Pearce says most of the time, they break up as they're falling into the atmosphere.

No worries according to Pearce.

Once they are in the atmosphere, they fall very quickly.? -kxmb

Pentagon’s Flying Saucer

Before the Pentagon decided that it wanted to stock soldiers' backpacks with miniature unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, Defense Department researchers mssmp3.jpghad a slightly different idea: give G.I.s their own flying saucers instead. The Multipurpose Security and Surveillance Mission Platform (MSSMP), flown from 1992 to 1998, used a ducted fan and a 50 hp engine to "cruise at speeds of up to 80 knots, for up to three hours, with a ceiling of 8,000 feet," according to Weighing at 250 pounds with a diameter of six feet, the MSSMP was meant to "provide a rapidly deployable, extended-range surveillance capability for a variety of operations and missions, including: fire control, force protection, tactical security, support to counterdrug and border patrol operations, signal/communications relays, detection and assessment of barriers (i.e., mine fields, tank traps), remote assessment of suspected contaminated areas (i.e., chemical, biological, and nuclear), and even resupply of small quantities of critical items," its makers at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center say. (These are the same wizards of robotics that put together the ultra-intimidating Robart III guard drone.)In the mid-90's, the MSSMP apparently had a couple of successful demontrations at Army posts. For example, in January 1997, the MSSMP system's flew over Ft. Benning's urban operations training facility, providing "reconnaissance support with the vehicle flying down city streets, looking through upper- and lower-story windows, providing lookout support ahead of advancing troops, and performing observations after landing on the roof of a two story building. The vehicle also dropped a simulated radio relay on the top of a building, a miniature intrusion detector in an open field, and carried a standard Army laser rangefinder/designator as a payload."

The Army has a similiar set of tasks in mind for its family of "Organic Air Vehicles," slated for soldiers hands if and when the Future Combat Systems project ever comes to pass. The "Organics" rely the same, ducted-fan propulsion as the MSSMP.

This isn't the only saucer-esque craft the Pentagon has toyed with. In 2003, the Navy worked briefly with Russian scientists on a vacuum-powered, pita-shaped UAV. - detch

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Free Music MP3: Xeno covers Paul Simon. 3rd Take, Remix, Backing Vocals Added

xenoatexploratorium1.jpg9/7/06 Update: My latest version of Paul Simon's "I am a Rock".

Did you ever watch that show where a guy with a funny accent paints a picture? Well, if you downloaded my previous sketches, you can think of this as watching me paint a song. Gets a little better each time... I hope.

All versions were recorded direct to disk on my laptop using free software called Audacity (1.3.0 beta) and some light reverb effects.

I sold my bass guitar a while back, so I'm playing the part of the bass by shifting my voice down an octave.

This is a complete remake of the previous test version. I added some crazy super fast guitar and backup singers... They still need work ;-)

"I am a rock" - Xeno, 9/7/06, MP3, 2 MB

Bush’s Cruel Treatment and Torture Authorization Act

"This is the bill the Administration has sent up to Congress....focus ought to be on sections 5 through 7 (pages 77-84), which are, as I predicted here, collectively an attempt to authorize the CIA to engage in the sorts of "enhanced" interrogation techniques -- e.g., hypothermia, threats of violence to the detainee and his family, prolonged sleep deprivation, "stress positions" and waterboarding -- to which the President alluded in his speech today, and to immunize such conduct from any judicial review. ...

The thrust of the President's speech is that such techniques -- let's call them "torture light," since the President is so insistent that we never "torture" -- are absolutely necessary to preventing terrorist attacks. Apparently the Pentagon hasn't gotten the memo. At a briefing this morning, Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence John Kimmons forcefully argued that:

kimmons.jpegI am absolutely convinced [that] no good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tell us that. . . . Moreover, any piece of intelligence which is obtained under duress, through the use of abusive techniques, would be of questionable credibility, and additionally it would do more harm than good when it inevitably became known that abusive practices were used. And we can't afford to go there. - more

Kimmons is right.

Bush admits to secret prisons

President George W. Bush finally is acknowledging that the CIA runs secret prisons overseas and saying that tough interrogation forced terrorist leaders to reveal plots to attack the United States and its allies.

guantanamotn.jpg Bush said Wednesday that 14 suspects ? including the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and architects of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 ? had been turned over to the Defense Department and moved to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for trial.Bush said the CIA program "has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill." Releasing information declassified just hours earlier, Bush said the capture of one terrorist months after the Sept. 11 attacks had led to the capture of another and then another, and had revealed planning for attacks using airplanes, car bombs and anthrax. - iht

The only reason to have secret prisons is that you have something to hide (like torture, or perhaps you are holding people who know too much about your crimes, etc.). We are supposed to be the good guys. Get this sick torturing Bush out of office.

Nikola Tesla’s ‘Black Magic’ Touring Car

In the summer of 1931, Nikola Tesla, the inventor of alternating current and the holder of some 1200 other U.S. patents, along with his nephew Peter Savo, piercearrow_tesla.jpginstalled a box on the front seat of a brand new Pierce-Arrow touring car at the company factory in Buffalo, New York. The box is said to have been 24 inches long, 12 inches wide and 6 inches high. Out of it protruded a 1.8 meter long antenna and two ? inch metal rods. Inside the box was reputed to be some dozen vacuum tubes -- 70-L-7 type -- and other electrical parts. Two wire leads ran from the box to a newly-installed 40 inch long, 30 inch diameter AC motor that replaced the gasoline engine.

As the story goes, Tesla inserted the two metal rods and announced confidently, "We now have power" and then proceeded to drive the car for a week, "often at speeds of up to 90 mph." One account says the motor developed 1,800 rpm and got fairly hot when operating, requiring a cooling fan. The "converter" box is said to have generated enough electrical energy to also power the lights in a home.

The car is said to have ended up on a farm 20 miles outside of Buffalo, "not far from Niagra Falls."

So what was the power source? Some charged "black magic", while others remained naturally skeptical. Tesla is reputed to have removed the box and returned to his New York City laboratory without revealing how he did it, though the suspicion lingers to this day, on the 150th anniversary of his birth in Smiljan, Croatia on July 9/10, 1856, that he had somehow tapped into the earth's magnetic field or perhaps even more exotically, zero point energy or gravitation waves. ... - more

Some high res moon footage recovered in Pink Floyd video vault

... Back in 1979, Clifton was working on a Pink Floyd video... to go along with the smash-album "Dark Side of the Moon." He wanted some footage of Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon... so he sent away $180 and got back a half-hour reel of 16-millimeter film from the Smithsonian.

"I had this idea that I could take segments out of Dark Side of the Moon and make them into a TV special," said Mr Clifton to Australia's The Age. "On a visit to Washington, I went to Smithsonian and asked if they had any shots of rocket ships travelling. He said, 'well, we can give you highlights of the moon shot.' Clifton never finished the Pink Floyd video... and the film sat in his vault for years.

"I didn't think another thing about it until a few nights ago when I was watching television and it came on the news," said Clifton. "And I thought 'I have got that stuff'." It turns out Clifton has a copy of only a small fraction of the missing footage... but the fact that he got it from the Smithsonian has put investigators on the trail. Clifton is again going through his vault to find the original canister in which the film arrived... hoping information under the NASA logo will help investigators track down up to 700 missing tapes... before it's too late. - more

For you who follow the moon conspiracy theory: Here are some nice pics of the models of the moon they used to fake the landings. Wink wink. It will be very interesting to see any high res footage of the Apollo missions.
033f88b0.jpg 039f48e0.jpg036f88b0.jpg

Britain cracked WW2 secret “dress code”

German spies hid secret messages in drawings of models wearing the latest fashions in an attempt to outwit ra2660258357.jpgAllied censors during World War Two, according to British security service files released on Monday. Nazi agents relayed sensitive military information using the dots and dashes of Morse code incorporated in the drawings. They posted the letters to their handlers, hoping that counter-espionage experts would be fooled by the seemingly innocent pictures.But British secret service officials were aware of the ruse and issued censors with a code-breaking guide to intercept them. The book -- part of a batch of British secret service files made public for the first time -- included an example of a code hidden in a drawing of three young models.

"Heavy reinforcements for the enemy expected hourly," reads a message disguised as a decorative pattern in the stitching of their gowns, hats and blouses. The files reveal other ingenious ways spies tried to send coded notes through the post.

Invisible ink, pinpricks and indentations on letters were all used to convey details of troop movements, bombing raids and ship-building. They hid codes in sheet music, descriptions of chess moves and shorthand symbols disguised as normal handwriting. Postcards were spliced in half, stuffed with wafer-thin notes and resealed." - yahoo

Humans ‘hardwired for religion’

The battle by scientists against "irrational" beliefs such as creationism is ultimately futile, a leading experimental psychologist said today. The work of Bruce Hood, a professor at Bristol University, suggests that magical and supernatural beliefs are hardwired into our brains from birth, and that religions are therefore tapping into a powerful psychological force."I think it is pointless to think that we can get people to abandon their belief systems because they are operating at such a fundamental level," said Prof Hood. "No amount of rational evidence is going to be taken on board to get people to abandon those ideas." - guarduk

Nutty muggles.

Doctor leads time travel research

Experiments aimed at unlocking secrets of time travel are being led by Aberdeen University.

_40631528_tardis152_bbc.jpgResearchers are examining the fabric of space time and what science fiction authors refer to as the fourth dimension. Dr Charles Wang will study the microscopic movement of atoms, which can be affected by the earth spinning. He said: "This is a very interesting possibility which cannot entirely be ruled out by physics." ...

He told BBC Scotland: "If you have curved space time, the time circles and you might just travel in time. "If we can slow down the atom and isolate it and guide into the fluctuation then there's a possibility it's there." - bbc

Phone telepathy: You knew it was true

NORWICH, England (Reuters) -- Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy. Rupert Sheldrake, telepathy.jpegwhose research is funded by the respected Trinity College, Cambridge, said on Tuesday he had conducted experiments that proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even e-mails.

Each person in the trials was asked to give researchers names and phone numbers of four relatives or friends. These were then called at random and told to ring the subject who had to identify the caller before answering the phone. "The hit rate was 45 percent, well above the 25 percent you would have expected," he told the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

"The odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one."

He said he found the same result with people being asked to name one of four people sending them an e-mail before it had landed. However, his sample was small on both trials -- just 63 people for the controlled telephone experiment and 50 for the email -- and only four subjects were actually filmed in the phone study and five in the email, prompting some skepticism.

Undeterred, Sheldrake -- who believes in the interconnectedness of all minds within a social grouping -- said that he was extending his experiments to see if the phenomenon also worked for mobile phone text messages. - cnn

No fowl play for four-legged chicken

It looks like an experiment gone wrong but the owner of a four-legged chicken denies fowl play. Ryan Dickey, 10, found the four-legged wonder legging it around an incubator at his Te Uku home on Monday.

0144525456600.jpgMum, Marlene, breeds 14 types of chickens and said it was the first time she'd seen one hatch with four legs. The little clucker is a Barnevelder chicken, a Dutch breed, and Mrs Dickey said other lesser legged chicks had accepted it without a problem. "He looks really robust and strong, he's good, he's just cruising along." The chick uses its bottom two legs to walk on.

She had noticed nothing out of the ordinary with the rooster and hen leading up to the lay and neither appeared to be feeling particularly clucky yesterday, she said.

A battery of researchers have found four-legged chickens are not unheard of but Poultry Industry Association executive director Mike Brooks said they were as rare as hens' teeth and were something he had heard of but never seen. Other four-legged chickens had been reported in Romania and Saudi Arabia.

Hamilton vet Keith Houston said in the Dickey's chick case, stem cells in the egg had divided into four instead of two, meaning an extra pair of legs. The family intend keeping the chicken as a pet..." - stuff

Robotic Frisbees of Death

I told you the UFOs were coming and that they'd really be the US military, not aliens. This shows that, as I've been saying for years, the man-made technology for stable circular winged aircraft exists.
"... Robotic frisbees. Heavily armed robotic frisbees. The Air Force recently tapped Triton Systems, out of Chelmsford, Mass, to develop such a "Modular Disc-Wing Urban Cruise Munition."

disc_uav.JPG"The 3-D maneuverability of the Frisbee-UAV [unammned aerial vehicle] will provide revolutionary tactical access and lethality against hostiles hiding in upper story locations and/or defiladed behind obstacles," the company promises.

The circular drones will be lanuched "from munitions dispensers or by means of a simple mechanism similar to a shotgun target (skeet) launcher," Triton adds. Once in the air, they'll be tele-operated by soldiers on the ground. Or, if needed, the fightin' frisbees will pilot themselves as they hunt for guerrillas.

Once they catch up to the baddies, the drones will use a series of armor-piercing explosives, shooting jets of molten metal, to eliminate their targets. And these MEFP [Multiple Explosively Formed Penetrator] "warheads will be controllable so as to provide a single large fragment (bunker-buster) or tailorable pattern of smaller fragments (unprotected infantry or light utility vehicles)." The decision of whether to go bunker-buster or infantry-annihilator mode can either be determined by the drones' human operators, "or autonomous target classification routine built into the UAV."

Now, Triton's Frisbee-UAV concept isn't the first time roboticists have looked into disc-shaped drones. From 1992 to 1998, the Navy experimented with a set of unmanned, 250-pound, six-foot-diameter flying saucers. In 2002, Norweigan researchers showed off plans for a circular flying robot "inspired at least partly by the design of Star Trek's USS Enterprise," New Scientist noted. Around the same time, at the University of Manchester, Jonathan Potts studied how best to control UAVs "based on the Frisbee TM sports disc shape." - detch

I think they completely missed the point of Star Trek.? Ever hear of the Borg?

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Probe Crashes into Moon, Returns Pictures: SMART-1 impact update

This beautiful image of the lunar surface was taken on 2 September 2006 by the AMIE camera on board SMART-1 during the last few orbits prior to Moon impact, and shows a heavily cratered region of the Moon. This view was captured during the imaging session which took place bewteen 15:19 and 17:34 CEST (17:19 - 19:34 UT). - more


Man Lives to 112 Despite Junk-Food Diet

"His favorite meal, which he often ate twice a day, was "an Oscar Mayer wiener and an Eggo waffle." - sfgate

"George Johnson, considered California's oldest living person at 112 and the state's last surviving World War I veteran, had experts shaking their heads over his junk food diet. "He had terrible bad habits. He had a diet largely of sausages and waffles," Dr. L. Stephen Coles, founder of the Gerontology Research Group at the University of California, Los Angeles, said Friday.

hs1466620_1.jpgThe 5-foot-7, 140-pound Johnson died of pneumonia Wednesday at his Richmond home in Northern California. "A lot of people think or imagine that your good habits and bad habits contribute to your longevity," Coles said. "But we often find it is in the genes rather than lifestyle." Johnson, who was blind and living alone until his 110th birthday when a caregiver began helping him, built the Richmond house by hand in 1935. He got around using a walker in recent years.

Johnson was the only living Californian considered a "supercentenarian," a designation for those ages 110 or older, Coles said. His group is now in the process of validating a Los Angeles candidate who claims to be 112 years old. Coles participated in an autopsy Thursday that was designed to study Johnson's health.

"All of his organs were extremely youthful. They could have been the organs of someone who was 50 or 60, not 112. Clearly his genes had some secrets," Coles said. "Everything in his body that we looked at was clean as a whistle, except for his lungs with the pneumonia," Coles said. "He had no heart disease, he had no cancer, no diabetes and no Alzheimer's. "This is a mysterious case that someone could be so healthy from a pathology point of view and that there is no obvious cause of death." - southflor

Monday, September 4, 2006

The crocodile hunter is dead, long live the crocodile hunter.


Steve Irwin, the ebullient Australian TV personality and conservationist known as the Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray barb to the heart during a diving expedition, police and his wildlife park said. Irwin, 44, was filming an underwater sequence for a television series on remote Batt Reef off the far northeast coast of Australia when he encountered the ray and was stung about 11 a.m. (0630 IST), Australia Zoo, Irwin's park, said in a statement. - more

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Free Music MP3: Xeno covers Paul Simon, who is a rock or something.

see later post. this was updated.

Live Music: Xenophilia Reunion Show: Sept 9th, Luna’s Cafe

Secret Inside Info: Xenophilia (Xeno, AmyAnne of the AmyAnne band, and Hence formerly of the Jackie Greene band) will perform a short five song reunion set this coming Saturday night, Sept 9th at Luna's Cafe in downtown Sacramento. (Directions)

Sat 9/9: JOHN FARIAS C.D. RELEASE, WILLIAM MYLAR, AMY ANNE (Secretly with Xenophilia). 9 PM. $6

Humor from Censored News

Here's another example of that cool software that lets you animate still photographs, this time with a political slant. Pretty funny, some of it anyway.


PS, for some more political humor, try these 2DTV cartoon videos.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

1000 Virtual Cars

Watch 1000 virtual cars racing at the same time on the same track. Crazy.

(Click pic for video)


Afghanistan Opium Harvest: Highest Levels Ever Recorded

286161.jpg"Afghanistan?s opium harvest this year has reached the highest levels ever recorded, showing an increase of almost 50 percent from last year, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, said Saturday in Kabul," reports Carlotta Gall in Sunday's edition of The New York Times."He described the figures as 'alarming' and 'very bad news' for the Afghan government and international donors who have poured millions of dollars into programs to reduce the poppy crop since 2001," the article continues. ... ?This year?s harvest will be around 6,100 metric tons of opium ? a staggering 92 percent of total world supply. It exceeds global consumption by 30 percent,? Mr. Costa said at a news briefing. - rawstory

Mike Ruppert, a conspiracy theoriest and former LAPD narcotics officer, says the US economy rests on the massive international drug trade controlled secretly by our government. That assertion makes it interesting that we invaded and continue our military presence in Afghanistan, yet drug output is at an all time high. Could we just destroy the fields? What is our stated mission over there? The DoD lists conternarcotics as one of several goals and says it is working with the Afghan government on this. Our military mission also includes farming:
"By supporting land titling efforts, development of irrigation and other infrastructure ... we will help the Afghan agriculture sector raise its productivity and provide viable livelihoods to rural families." - dodmission

Is some of our military help with agriculture accidentally benefiting the poppy crop? One wonders.

Up So Close

Here's a closeup of my finger taken recently at an exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The faint round impressions on the flat raised parts are sweat glands.


Father with cancer just wanted to see daughter’s wedding, now he’s cured.

Is there a cure for cancer? You bet. This latest one enhances the body's own immune system, and so far it gives a 2 in 17 chance of complete recovery. Scientists remove normal white blood cells, infect them with a retrovirus which delivers DNA to the cells. These genes enable the white blood cells to make T cell receptors which stick to the cancer cells. The white blood cells are reintroduced to the patient and they kill the cancer cells. One challenge is getting enough of these new cells to sick around in the patient's body in order to kill the cancer. Difficult, but it has now worked and the methods can be improved. (See diagram).
"The NCI team managed to isolate T-cells produced by cancer patients that could recognize cancer. They extracted these special T-cells and enhanced their ability to find cancer cells through genetic manipulation." - ctv

lookslikedeannaandhillary.jpg Mr Origer was diagnosed with melanoma ? the most aggressive form of skin cancer ? in 1999. A cyst which grew on the same area of his back in 2002 was found to have malignant cells and the cancer continued to spread until, in June 2004, it was found in his liver. He underwent various chemical and surgical treatments, but none was found to stop the spread of cancer.

In December 2004, he was given the gene therapy and was discharged the same month. By January 2005, his tumours had shrunk by half and by last September, when he attended his daughter Katie's wedding, one small spot remained in his liver which surgeons removed.

Last week, doctors pronounced him completely clear of cancer cells.

Of the 17 patients with advanced skin cancer who underwent gene therapy, the treatment worked only on Mr Origer and "Thomas M", aged 39, clearing the disease from liver, lymph node and lung.

storyrosenbergcnn.jpgBut scientists believe they can improve the response and adapt it to fight other cancers, notably breast, colon and lung. The success using the patients' genetically modified white blood cells is reported today in the journal Science by a team at the US National Cancer Institute led by Dr Steven Rosenberg, a pioneer in the field. He said: "Both patients are still free of the disease, after 18 months."

One might look carefully at who is telling us not to believe this is a cure: "Don't be deluded that this is the cancer breakthrough". Don't drug companies lose billions per year if cancer is cured with gene therapy? Don't worry about the cure being surpressed for another 50 years. The unbiased experts at quackwatch tell us there IS no conspiracy. Whew! Glad to hear that.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Soldier Vs. Ram

While we are on the topic of heads, check out this funny video. No Rams or Soldiers were injured.


Risking Paralysis for Life, Man Spins on Head 124 turns.

Amazing to watch, but don't try this at home:


"In the worst injury reported, Efrain Arreola, 25 years old, broke his neck trying a difficult stunt with no training, said Nadine Filipiak, a spokesman for St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago. Mr. Arreola was left paralyzed after attempting a flip to a handstand, followed by a headspin." - nyt

Top 10: Weirdest cosmology theories

1. Clashing branes
2. Evolving universes
3. Superfluid space-time
4. Goldilocks universe
5. Gravity reaches out
6. Cosmic ghost
7. It's a small universe
8. Fast light
9. Sterile neutrinos
10. In the Matrix