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Leggo Aircraft Carrier May 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, cool stuff.
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The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is done! 16.4 Feet long. 200,000 Bricks, movable elevators and radar dishes, electric lights on the flight deck, in the hangar, and inside the aircraft, motorized catapult!!! Cost in the 5 Digits

EU is at a turning point May 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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Los Angeles Times: EU is at a turning point

In Britain and Poland in the last month, nationalistic parties uneasy with integration into the European Union have scored major advances. The EU constitution, rejected last year by France and the Netherlands, is dead in the water. Economic nationalism and protectionism are surging. The French, Italian, Spanish and Polish governments recently have taken steps to protect national industries from foreign takeover.

On a continent that dreamed of eliminating national borders, hostility toward immigrants — especially those from Muslim countries — is causing national boundaries to spring back to life.

In short, political life across Europe is being renationalized, plunging the enterprise of European integration into its most serious crisis since World War II.

NOAA Ocean Explorer: Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 May 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology, Streamingvideo, Video.
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NOAA Ocean Explorer: Submarine Ring of Fire 2006
The 2006 Submarine Ring of Fire expedition is the third in a series of explorations of the submarine volcanoes lying along the Mariana Arc, extending from south of the island of Guam northward more than 800 nautical miles (1450 km). We discovered some amazing places in 2004, including an erupting volcano (NW Rota-1), liquid CO2 venting (NW Eifuku), the shallowest yet discovered “black smoker” chimneys (East Diamante) Click on the link for links to their videos.

Iraq Is the Republic of Fear May 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
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Iraq Is the Republic of Fear
Under the reign of Saddam Hussein, dissidents called Iraq "the republic of fear" and hoped it would end when Hussein was toppled. But the war, it turns out, has spread the fear democratically. Now the terror is not merely from the regime, or from U.S. troops, but from everybody, everywhere.

The world wonders if Iraq is on the brink of civil war, while Iraqis fear calling it one, knowing the fate such a description would portend. In truth, the civil war started long before Samarra and long before the first uprisings. It started when U.S. troops arrived in Baghdad. It began when Sunnis discovered what they had lost, and Shiites learned what they had gained. And the worst is yet to come.

Won’t Get Judged Again May 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Music.
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Petetownshend.com – Pete's Diary – 27 May 2006
Won't Get Fooled Again has been listed in the UK Independent Newspaper as the number one song with – as I understand it – the political message most often misunderstood – in this case the message is said to be 'conservative', a word that may mean different things in the UK and USA.

Of course the song has no party-allied political message at all. It is not precisely a song that decries revolution – it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets – but that revolution, like all action can have results we cannot predict. Don't expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.

The song was meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the centre of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.

Iran’s president redefines power politics at home May 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, Politics.
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Iran’s president redefines power politics at home International Herald Tribune
In Iran’s theocratic system, where appointed religious leaders hold ultimate power, the presidency has been a relatively weak position. In the multiple layers of power that obscure the governance of Iran, no one knows for certain where the ultimate decisions are being made. But many of those watching are in near disbelief at the speed and aggression with which the president is seeking to accumulate power. They assume that he is operating with the full support of Khamenei.

Ahmadinejad, elected in June 2005, is trying to outpace the challenges buffeting Iran, ones that could undermine his presidency and conservative control. The economy is in shambles, unemployment is soaring, and the president has so far failed to deliver on his promise of economic relief for the poor.

Not only medieval mentality, but also medieval communication means! May 27, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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Azzaman in English

No mobile phones, no landlines, no Internet – that is the message anti-U.S. rebels have recently received from their commanders.

The message is believed to have even spread in neighboring states as part of the package of instructions foreign fighters receive before heading to Iraq.

“You are not to use electronic communication or even land lines when communicating,” said a leaflet which the groups distributed recently.

The instructions are apparently a response to what are described as ‘moderate successes’ U.S. troops have achieved in the past few weeks in their fight to flush out rebel cells. (more…)

Chocolate may boost brain power May 26, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Food, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Chocolate may boost brain power | Health | Reuters.co.uk
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Chocolate lovers rejoice. A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function.

“Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine,” Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.

“These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance.” (more…)

Picture with infinite Zoom May 26, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, cool stuff, Photography.
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The photo on this web page is made up of tiny photos. Click on the photo to zoom in. More tiny photos. Forever…. You’ll need Macromedia Flash from Adobe to experince this photo at this Link

This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.) May 26, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics, Religion.
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This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)
Religion is the foundation of the Saudi state’s political ideology; it is also a key area of Saudi education in which students are taught the interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism (a movement founded 250 years ago by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) that is reflected in these textbooks.

Scholars estimate that within the Saudi public school curriculum, Islamic studies make up a quarter to a third of students’ weekly classroom hours in lower and middle school, plus several hours each week in high school. Educators who question or dissent from the official interpretation of Islam can face severe reprisals. In November 2005, a Saudi teacher who made positive statements about Jews and the New Testament was fired and sentenced to 750 lashes and a prison term. (He was eventually pardoned after public and international protests.)

The passages below — drawn from the same set of Saudi texts proudly cited in the new 74-page review of curriculum reform now being distributed by the Saudi Embassy — are shaping the views of the next generation of Saudis and Muslims worldwide. Unchanged, they will only harden and deepen hatred, intolerance and violence toward other faiths and cultures. Is this what Riyadh calls reform? (more…)

Immigration solution — invade Mexico! May 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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Immigration solution — invade Mexico!

While this may seem an amusing “Modest Proposal” some experts see Mexico inevitably becoming the 51st State, if Puerto Rico doesn’t beat them to it.

Here is a modest proposal for solving the illegal immigration issue once and for all: Invade and occupy Mexico and admit it into the Union as the 51st state. That way, we can put an immediate end to all of the political hand-wringing on this pressing and volatile issue. Before you dismiss this idea as reckless, consider that there’s something in this plan for every American, regardless of their political stripe.

THE LAWYERS KILLING N.Y. May 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, philosophy & politics.
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THE LAWYERS KILLING N.Y. By LAWRENCE J. MCQUILLAN & HOVANNES ABRAMYAN – New York Post Online Edition: Postopinion
The lawyers. In 2002, injured claimants received only 46 cents for every dollar paid by insurance companies for tort losses.

The President's Council of Economic Advisers estimated the excessive costs of the tort system nationwide were $136 billion in 2000 – equivalent to a 2 percent tax on consumption, a 3 percent tax on wages, or a 5 percent tax on capital. The same methodology puts today's excessive costs at more than $198 billion a year – equivalent to a tax of $2,654 on a family of four.

To put that in perspective, in 1950, America's tort system cost only $93 per person (adjusted for inflation).

Leaders in other parts of the country are making common-sense reforms to repair our out-of-control tort system. Many states, for example, cap the amount a jury can award for non-economic damages, which are designed to compensate plaintiffs for hard-to-quantify costs like "pain and suffering" or "mental distress." Studies show that such caps lower insurance costs and litigation rates.

The two speeds of our brain May 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Life, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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» The two speeds of our brain | Emerging Technology Trends | ZDNet.com
By combining experimental and computational approaches, they found that our brains contain two series of components which learn at different speeds. The first ones learn and forget fast while the second ones learn slowly but have a better ‘memory.’

In EU, front lines in food war May 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, In The News.
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In EU, front lines in food war – International Herald Tribune
Greece and a few other EU countries that have banned genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are on the front lines of a war over the future of such food in Europe, the only large swath of the world that does not already grow or purchase such crops. Last Friday, the Polish president signed into law a similar ban, following Austria some months back.

Facing international pressure and a lawsuit at the World Trade Organization, the EU said this year that all member states must open their doors to GMOs, preparing practical and legal regulations to ensure safety for health and the environment. But five countries have imposed eight different types of ban. Many others use their votes in Europe's Council of Ministers to block the crops from entering.

Furthermore, the battle pits the United States and Canada, which produce the vast majority of such seeds and crops, against their closest European allies. The United States is not shy about enlisting its diplomats to push European countries to admit GMOs, according to European politicians. European consumers and farmers generally do not want them, leaving the EU trying to steer a Solomonic course between competing and conflicting interests.

Bird gets the Bird May 23, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment.
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HeronDoesDuck.JPGWhile there is some conjecture that the 1st dinosaurs has feathers, this Great Blue Heron as he flew down and snatched this duckling right out from under it's mother's clutch. She was helpless to stop him. Note the bewildered mother at bottom of frame. I watched the heron as he flew down a ways, then he promptly swallowed the duckling.

Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Florida’s Coral Reef May 23, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News.
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Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Florida's Coral Reef – New York Times
"Last year was a particularly bad outbreak," said Tyler Smith, a coral biologist at the University of the Virgin Islands. "We lost anywhere from 70 to 100 percent of our coral to bleaching."

Florida was somewhat spared in that outbreak, only because the mighty swirl of Hurricane Wilma dragged cooler, life-saving water into the region.

Not all the news is bad. Mr. Donahue said that, with rising temperatures, scientists have seen fresh stands of elkhorn and staghorn off Broward County, Fla., far north of the Keys, in waters where such coral would have never been seen two decades ago.

Killer Whale Crushes Kayaker May 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Lifestyle, Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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This video has made the rounds, but it’s still worth noting that it was actaully a Korean-language version of a commercial for Powerade energy drink (a product of the Coca-Cola Company).

It is debunked as-real at the Myth Buster Gold Standard site of Snopes.com here

Germany’s beer lovers can already taste defeat May 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business, Food, Lifestyle, Sports.
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Germany’s beer lovers can already taste defeat – World – Times Online
The Germans are furious that Budweiser will be the official tipple for the World Cup, which starts next month. The American lager has secured a near-monopoly of beer sales inside World Cup stadiums and within a 500m radius of the grounds, supplanting more than 1,270 domestic breweries.

And what most upsets the fans is that Budweiser — advertised as the “King of Beers” in the US — fails to meet the ancient German standards for purity, which stipulate that beer can be brewed only from malt, hops and water. Budweiser uses rice in its production process and therefore does not qualify as a beer in the German sense.

Budweiser paid $40 million for the concession even before Germany had been chosen to host the tournament. ” Franz Maget, a Bavarian Social Democrat, has entered the fray, calling Budweiser “the worst beer in the world”.

Lordi surprise winner at Eurovision May 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Music, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Finnish Hard Rock sensation Lordi, featured on this blog back on April 25th, is the upset winner of the 51st Eurovision Music Contest (BBC link with video of News Coference). Click here to see their “Hard Rock Halleluja Video.(the winning song)

What’s in a $7.5M Web Name? May 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Science & Technology.
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TechJournal South – Article
SUNRISE, FL – Odimo, an online retailer based in Sunrise, has sold its diamond and jewelry business, including the domain name www.diamond.com, for $7.5 million to Ice.com, an online diamonds and jewelry retailer. Ice also purchased Odimo's remaining diamond and jewelry inventory and corporate packaging for an additional $2 million.

Shark Defense May 20, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Enviroment, Science & Technology, Technology.
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Kayak Company

Shark Defense

These guys have developed chemical Shark Repllants and just won the World Wildlife Funds Contest for Smart Gear, from among 80 entries with magnets to repel sharks from Long Line Trawler’s fish hooks.

Sharks are known to be able to detect magnetic fields – they use this sense to detect Earth’s magnetic field and orient around the ocean. It appras that they wil also avoid artificial magnetic fields that would clutter their orientation.

Every year thousands of sharks die after becoming snared on hooks set by commercial fisheries to catch tuna and swordfish and this has literally pushed some shark species to the brink of extinction. According to the WWF, 89% of hammerhead sharks and 80% of thresher and white sharks have disappeared from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean in the last 18 years, largely due to bycatch.

Link to Promtional video

IRAN OKS ‘NAZI’ SOCIAL FABRIC May 20, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics.
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IRAN OKS 'NAZI' SOCIAL FABRIC By AMIR TAHER

The law mandates the government to make sure that all Iranians wear "standard Islamic garments" designed to remove ethnic and class distinctions reflected in clothing, and to eliminate "the influence of the infidel" on the way Iranians, especially the young, dress.

It also envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct color schemes to make them identifiable in public. The new codes would enable Muslims to instantly recognize non-Muslims so that they can avoid shaking hands with them by mistake, and thus becoming najis" (unclean).

Jewish MP denies Iran badge plan

From correspondents in Tehran

May 20, 2006

IRAN'S only Jewish MP strongly denied reports in a Canadian newspaper overnight that Iran may force non-Muslims to wear coloured badges in public so they can be identified.

"This report is a complete fabrication and is totally false," Maurice Motammed said in Tehran. "It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain" by doing so. (More)

Even if the badging portion of the new dress regulations are not true, here is some historical re-counting of how this would not be unusual.

An ethos of infidel-hatred, including paroxysms of annihilationist fanaticism, has pervaded Persian/Iranian society, almost without interruption (i.e., the two major exceptions being Sunni Afghan rule from 1725-1794, and Pahlavi reign, with its Pre-Islamic revivalist efforts, from 1925-1979), since the founding of the Shi’ite theocracy in 1502 under Shah Ismail, through its present Khomeini-inspired restoration, since 1979. (More)

May 23, 2006EDITORS' NOTE: The Associated Press and others have challenged Amir Taheri's account (published in The Post on Saturday) of the proposed new Iranian dress code, noting that the law does not specify badges for religious minorities. Below is his reply.  I STAND BY MY COLUMN

Research Reveals How Prozac Triggers New Brain Cell Growth May 20, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Research Reveals How Prozac Triggers New Brain Cell Growth
The researchers decided to look at how the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants — the widely used class of drugs that includes Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft — might spur brain cell growth. To do so, they tracked the way in which stem cells — undifferentiated cells that can grow into specialized cells — became neurons in a special mouse model given the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine).

"What has been known for 20, 30 years is that Prozac increases the level of serotonin [a neurotransmitter associated with good mood.]" But what wasn't known was why Prozac takes three or four weeks to start working.

"Stem cells in the brain go through several steps before they become neurons," Enikolopov said. Examining the cascade of events, his team found that "cells which are born from the stem cells, called amplifying progenitors, are the cells being targeted by Prozac," he said. According to Enikolopov, Prozac zeroes in on these amplifying progenitors and increases their numbers. Within three to four weeks, his team noticed an increased number of mature neurons.

Click here for the actual researchers Press Release

70,000 Beer Cans Found in Ogden Townhouse May 18, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle, Streamingvideo, Video.
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ksl.com – Utah’s Online Source for Local News & Information 70,000 Beer Cans Found in Ogden Townhouse
The Coors Light cans were recycled for 800 dollars, an estimated 70,000 cans: 24 beers a day for 8 years. (Link includes TV footage & pictures)

Teens suffer soap opera virus May 18, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Life, Lifestyle.
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Teens suffer soap opera virus | Reuters.com
LISBON (Reuters) – An illness that medical officials are calling the “Strawberries with Sugar Virus” is sweeping Portuguese schools as children complain of symptoms similar to those suffered by characters in a television soap opera. (more…)

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