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Extreme Ski Jumping February 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Would you jump off a mountain without a chute?

Surfing in the Arctic February 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Sports, Streamingvideo, Technology, Video.
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Rip Curl Introduces the H-Bomb

Thanks to Randy Marks in warm Florida to point out a new powered Wetsuit demonstrated above the Arctic Circle.

Video: Rescue of 200 Stranded Horses – Netherlands February 23, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, News, Streamingvideo, Video.
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You may have heard about the herd of horses that were trapped for 3 days on a tiny piece of land in wind and rain in the Netherlands a short while ago? They were trapped on a small piece of land, surrounded by water. Their natural instincts kept them from swimming to solid land, from their tiny perch. There were about 100 horses huddled together against the wind and water.

The Nation was mesmerized watching this drama as 18 of the horses perished, while others were slowly weakening. First the fire department, then the Dutch army, tried to rescue them – both efforts were unsuccessful. Then, with a break in the weather, the water level went down and four women hatched a plan to attempt a rescue by luring the horses into the water. Here’s a video of the successful rescue. Thanks to Mike Douso

‘Green’ arms the new killing trend February 23, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Technology.
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‘Green’ arms the new killing trend | NEWS.com.au
BRITISH arms manufacturer BAE Systems is designing “environmentally friendly” weapons, including “reduced lead” bullets, “reduced smoke” grenades and rockets with fewer toxins, The Sunday Times said.

Other initiatives include developing armoured vehicles with lower carbon emissions, safer and more sustainable artillery and even recycling or composting waste explosives, the newspaper added. (more…)

A cartoon that could end the war in Iraq… February 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Humor.
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A cartoon that could end the war in Iraq… « the rut.

The Japanese Gyroball Mystery February 22, 2007

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The Japanese Gyroball Mystery – New York Times
Tezuka came up with the gyroball in 1995, when he was given a toy known as the X-Zylo Ultra. The toy, a flying gyroscope, could travel as far as 600 feet when thrown with a spiral. Tezuka wondered why the motion could not work on a baseball.

Tezuka visited the Rangers’ spring training complex Tuesday, mainly to see Otsuka, but he was approached by several other pitchers. They had the same questions everybody else does. First, they wanted to know if the gyroball is for real.

Then, they wanted to know how to throw it.

East Germany Lives On – As A Tiny Cuban Island February 21, 2007

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79 – East Germany Lives On – As A Tiny Carribean Island « strange maps
Most people think East Germany ceased to exist in 1990, when the (East) German Democratic Republic was absorbed by the Federal Republic of (West) Germany. So did I. Turns out I was wrong: the GDR lives on, and in a very comfortable climate to boot: a small island off Cuba is the last official territory of the good old Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Click on the link to see a Google Map picture) (more…)

Can wild grass produce clean fuel? February 20, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Enviroment, Technology.
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» Can wild grass produce clean fuel? | Emerging Technology Trends | ZDNet.com
The body of a plant is composed of polysaccharides, such as cellulose, which can be converted to ethanol by fermentation. Using the entire plant body as a starting raw material will result in a higher yield of fermentable sugar per unit of land, Somerville said. The ideal plant for producing cellulosic ethanol, he added, is Miscanthus, a perennial grass native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia, which is used as an ornamental plant in the United States.

And here are some more reasons to use miscanthus.

“It uses less water per gram of biomass produced than other plants,” he said. “For example, to make a pound of alfalfa or spinach requires about 600 pounds of water, while to grow a pound of Miscanthus requires only about 200 pounds of water.” According to Somerville, Miscanthus produces about twice as much biomass per acre without irrigation than other grasses, and reaching the president’s target of 35 billion gallons of biofuels annually would require putting far fewer acres of land into Miscanthus production.

The Undercover Mosque February 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Politics, Religion, Streamingvideo, Video.
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The New Horizon The Undercover Mosque «

When I first posted this video it was quickly replaced with this message: “This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Hardcash Productions Ltd. because its content was used without permission”.

So even though it is 48 minutes long, it may not be posted on Google Video much longer. Fox news bought the US rights and used many portions to create their own version about the enemy within.

After seeing these hidden camera videos shot by UK Channel 4, you will understand why British Muslims are considered by the Zogby Poll to be the most radicalized in Europe and why “assimilation” is their greatest fear.

Storm rider’s miracle survival February 16, 2007

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Storm rider’s miracle survival – National – theage.com.au   Photo: Robert Chappel
Robert Chappel A German paraglider survived lightning, pounding hail, minus 40-degree temperatures and oxygen deprivation after a storm system sucked her to an altitude higher than Mount Everest.

Ewa Wisnierska, 35, passed out due to a lack of oxygen and flew unconscious for up to an hour covered in ice after reaching an altitude of 9947 metres – near the cruising height of a jumbo jet.

The champion sportswoman’s survival was like “winning Lotto 10 times in a row”, Australia’s most experienced paraglider says.

Wisnierska says experience told her she had no chance of survival, but a doctor told her that blacking out had saved her.

“It was because that I got unsconscious because then the heart slows down all the functions – it saved my life,” she told ABC radio. (more…)

Wild eagles attack paraglider February 16, 2007

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Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Wild eagles attack paraglider
Britain’s top female paraglider has cheated death after being attacked by a pair of ‘screeching’ wild eagles while competition flying in Australia.

Nicky Moss, 38, watched terrified as two huge birds began tearing into her parachute canopy, one becoming tangled in her lines and clawing at her head 2,500 meters (8,200ft) in the air.

The encounter happened on Monday while Moss — a member of the British paragliding team — was preparing for world titles this month at Manilla in northern New South Wales state. One of the giant wedge-tailed eagles became wrapped in the canopy lines and slid down toward Moss, lashing at her face with its talons as her paraglider plummeted toward the ground. Veteran Australian paraglider pilot Godfrey Wenness said eagle attacks were rare, but Moss had been flying in an area where the birds were not accustomed to human pilots. reuters

N.M. Orders 500 Talking Urinal Cakes February 15, 2007

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N.M. Orders 500 Talking Urinal Cakes – Forbes.com
New Mexico recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal-deodorizer cakes and has put them in men’s rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.

When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman’s voice that is flirty, then stern: ““Hey there big guy, having a few drinks? Then listen up! Think you had one to many? Then it’s time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight, don’t drink and drive!”

The recorded message ends: “Remember, your future is in your hand.”

The Netherlands, the New U-2, Stones Tax Shelter Hot Spot February 15, 2007

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The Netherlands, the New Tax Shelter Hot Spot | StarNewsOnline.com | Star-News | Wilmington, NC
Over the last 20 years, according to Dutch documents, the three of the Stones have paid just $7.2 million in taxes on earnings of $450 million that they have channeled through Amsterdam — a tax rate of about 1.5 percent, well below the British rate of 40 percent.

The Rolling Stones are not the only celebrities sheltering income in the land of tulips, windmills and Rembrandt. The rock powerhouse U2 has transferred lucrative assets to Amsterdam, as have other pop singers and well-known athletes, all of whom have used or continue to take advantage of the Netherlands’ tax shelters, according to a Dutch tax lawyer who requested anonymity because of client confidentiality agreements. (more…)

Smoking can lead to a slow and painful death February 10, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Cool photos, Enviroment, News.
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Photo – Lutte et campagne anti-tabac – atc-Basset

So says the caption on this graphic photo of a tumor on a package of cigarettes in Belgium. Other EU countries are planning to follow suit. Click on the French Link to view the rest of the graphics planned for the next 3 years.

 Evidence from Canada, which became the first country to put graphic pictures on cigarette packs in 2001, suggests he is right. Almost a third of former smokers in Canada say the images encouraged them to quit, and 7 out of 10 adults say the warnings were an effective way of informing them about the health effects of smoking.

Belgium can now picture the worst from smoking

Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying February 10, 2007

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Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying – New York Times

I made the mistake of sending this to one of my daughters when it was 1st published last year on Dec. 17th. She wanted to know why I had sent it to her and did I think that she should get married. Well I won’t make that mistake again. Based on the 51% divorce rate in the U.S,, maybe more couples should ask these questions before-hand. Somebody must be asking, because this article keeps showing up in the NY Times most e-mailed top 10 list. It’s back at number one again today. (more…)

Biggest NASCAR Crash February 10, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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In 1960 only 68 cars were allowed to start in a Super Speedway Event. During he second Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 1960, 37 cars were eliminated on the 1st lap! Driving a Chevrolet sponsored by the Daytona Beach Kennel Club dog track, located on the back side of the Daytona International Speedway main grandstand, Junior Johnson beat Bobby Johns by 23 seconds.

Storing wind power in cold stores February 10, 2007

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» Storing wind power in cold stores | Emerging Technology Trends | ZDNet.com

Off peak storage has been an ongoing issue for nuclear power plants. They aren’t like a hydrocarbon plant, which can be throttled back. The nuclear reaction is a constant heat source.

Water is the cheapest method to store kinetic energy. India developed using their excess night-time energy to pump water up to a lake. During peak-demand times, the water is release to turn electric producing turbines, like are used at Dams.The Back Creek Pump Storage in Bath County Virginia uses this method. Another water trick is to make ice at night and use it for office air conditioning during the day, when the workers are present.

Many Cold Stores in the US already do “load shedding” the same way that is proposed here. The only new wrinkle is using wind power instead of the power grid to pull down temperatures during the off-peak night-time hours
According to Nature, a European-funded project has be launched to store gigawatts of electricity created from wind into the refrigerated warehouses normally used to store food. As the production of wind energy is variable every day, it cannot be easily accommodated on the electricity grid. So the “Night Wind” project wants to store wind energy produced at night in refrigerated warehouses and to release this energy during daytime peak hours. The first tests will be done in the Netherlands this year. And as the cold stores exist already, practically no extra cost should be needed to store as much as 50,000 megawatt-hours of energy.

The idea seems simple. Say you lowered the temperature of all large coldstores in Europe by just 1°C during the night when electricity demand is low, then let it rise 1°C by switching them off during the day when demand is at peak. The net effect would be that the warehouses would act as batteries — potentially storing 50,000 megawatt-hours of energy — and the food wouldn’t melt

The Iran Option That Isn’t on the Table February 9, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, Politics.
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Vali Nasr and Ray Takeyh – The Iran Option That Isn’t on the Table – washingtonpost.com
Paradoxically, to liberalize the theocratic state, the United States would do better to shelve its containment strategy and embark on a policy of unconditional dialogue and sanctions relief. A reduced American threat would deprive the hard-liners of the conflict they need to justify their concentration of power. In the meantime, as Iran became assimilated into the global economy, the regime’s influence would inevitably yield to the private sector, with its demands for accountability and reform.

It is important to appreciate that Iran has a political system without precedent or parallel in modern history. The struggle there is not just between reactionaries and reformers, conservatives and liberals, but fundamentally between the state and society. A subtle means of diminishing the state and empowering the society is, in the end, the best manner of promoting not only democracy but also nuclear disarmament. Credit Photo Sack/Star Tribune

The Top 15 Wackiest USB Devices February 9, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Food, Humor, Technology.
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PC World – The Top 15 Wackiest USB Devices
Here we present to you a sampling of 15 of the most absurd USB devices we could find. Let’s start with a collection of fully functional flash drives that look a little kooky–and, in one case, downright scary.

What are the major obstacles for sustainable energy? February 9, 2007

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What are the major obstacles for sustainable energy? – earth – 08 February 2007 – New Scientist Environment
• Developing a full understanding of the chemistry of carbon dioxide, and a better understanding of photosynthesis

• Less costly production of photovoltaic cells – the building blocks of solar panels

• Better systems for converting solar energy into a usable form, and storing it

• Improved methods of converting plant sugars into bioethanol, currently one of the most promising sources of renewable energy

• Better understanding of the risks of capturing carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels and storing it underground (more…)

Grenada thanks China for new stadium with a rendition of wrong anthem February 8, 2007

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Shanghaiist: Grenada thanks China for new stadium with a rendition of Taiwan anthem
The tiny Caribbean island of Grenada suffered a huge diplomatic embarrassment at the inauguration of a US$40 million China-financed stadium built as a gift from Beijing when its police band decided it would perform the Taiwan anthem instead of the March of the Volunteers. Oops.

The Associated Press reports that Chinese Ambassador Qian Hongshan and scores of blue-uniformed Chinese laborers who built the new stadium were “visibly uncomfortable as Taiwan’s anthem echoed inside the 20,000-seat venue on Saturday”. (more…)

Can a brain scan prove you’re telling the truth? February 6, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Science & Technology, Technology.
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Can a brain scan prove you’re telling the truth? – tech – 06 February 2007 – New Scientist Tech

If you saw the latest episode of “24”, you saw a MRI-like brain scan, which told Jack that his brother was lying to him during interrogation.
Insurance companies are helping to popularise a new “truth-telling” industry in the US which uses brain scans to determine whether or not people are lying. But experts are already questioning the ethics and validity of such tests.

Jonathan Marks, a bioethicist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, while researching the subject at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank,  recently saw a copy of a confidential document that describes the use of MRI to examine the responses of suspects’ brains to keywords that could betray knowledge of enemy activity. Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union are similarly suggestive.

Marooned on a Mega Yacht February 5, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Life.
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Marooned off Key West
Sitting in plain view, in ankle-deep turquoise water just 3 miles away from the docks and mobs of tourists at Mallory Square, lies $30 million in treasure.

For 15 months, pirates and other assorted seafaring scalawags have tried to plunder it, but they have been rebuffed, sometimes at the point of a gun, by an unlikely swashbuckler: 63-year-old multimillionaire tycoon Peter Halmos of Palm Beach.

Update: Stuck MegaYacht Finally Free

Update Megayacht Stuck again

And today, after making peace with the U.S. government, Halmos is free to pluck his bounty from the sea. UPDATE – Still Stuck! (more…)

Why do they hate us? February 4, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Politics, Religion.
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Bin Laden, The Left and Me – washingtonpost.com
The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality — and that the United States is leading that attack.

WTC1Contrary to President Bush’s view, they don’t hate us for our freedom, either. Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world’s people are violated.

In other words, bin Laden believes that the United States represents the pagan depravity that Muslims have a duty to resist. The literature of radical Islam, such as the works of Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb, resonates with these themes. One radical sheik even told a European television station a few years ago that although Europe is more decadent than America, the United States is the more vital target because it is U.S. culture — not Swedish culture or French culture — that is spreading throughout the world.


20 Face Lash for Dancing in Saudi Arabia

Iraq’s battlefield slang February 3, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Life, News.
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Iraq’s battlefield slang – Los Angeles Times
World War II veterans invoked Murphy’s Law: “If something can go wrong, it will.” As you’ll see in the brief lexicon I’ve pulled together below, the New Greatest Generation (the generation fighting the war on terror) dubs it “the suck.” (Author and columnist Austin Bay has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. A colonel (retired) in the U.S. Army Reserve, in 2004 Austin served on active duty in Iraq.)

“Embrace the suck” isn’t merely a wisecrack; it’s an encyclopedic experience rendered as an epigram, gritty shorthand for “Face it, soldier. I’ve been there. War ain’t easy. Now deal with the difficulty and let’s get on with the mission.” Thanks to Caroline Collier for passing this on. (more…)

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