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Failed Predictions October 29, 2007

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Failed predictions – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” – Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” – Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

“Self-operating [vacuum] cleaners powered by nuclear energy will probably be a reality a decade from now.” – Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955

This is a list of failed predictions. Psychics and would-be prophets often give exact details of what is about to happen and when the day passes, their followers conveniently forgot they ever said anything of the kind, remembering mainly those that happened to come true.

Science fiction is often set in the future, but is very rarely intended to be an actual prediction of events to come; a timeline of fictional future events is listed elsewhere.

The History of Unfulfilled Prophecy by Christians deals specifically with failed predictions by prophets or leaders within the Christian church, though not any contained within the Bible itself.

Labor shortage in China October 28, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business, Science & Technology.
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Acer complains of labor shortage in China | InfoWorld | News | 2007-10-26 | By Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service
“There is a labor shortage in China, which is new to me,” said J.T. Wang, chairman of Acer, during the company’s third quarter investors’ conference in Taipei. “China has 1.4 billion people, how can they have a labor shortage?” he asked rhetorically.

Acer’s China-based component suppliers and PC assemblers have said that in some cases they have lost 1,000 workers overnight, and have had to seek new employees. The Taiwanese company will work with suppliers on new strategies to make sure the issue does not affect production, Wang said. He characterized the concern as small, and unlikely to become a major issue in the near term.

Companies have started to look outside of China for new factory investments, the analyst said, and while Vietnam, India, and other countries boast low-cost labor, they will only win investments if their workers are educated and investment incentives and regulations attractive. (more…)

Holocaust survivor trumps Dutch October 28, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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Don Surber » Blog Archive » Holocaust survivor trumps Dutch
The Dutch are threatening to remove their 1,600 troops from Afghanistan to protest Gitmo. Dutch politicians face growing problems with Islamic youths and likely fear a L’Intifada like France suffered in 2005.

Peters said: “We have to close Guantanamo because it symbolizes for me everything that is wrong with this war on terror.”

To which Lantos apparently replied: “Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay”

He also said: “You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany.” The liberal Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos of California, the only Holocaust survivor in Congressis far from a friend of Gitmo. The Dutch sent these politicians here to bitch about Gitmo.

Dolphin In The Pink October 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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Rare “PINK DOLPHIN” Photos
It appears to be an uncanny freak of nature, an albino dolphin, with reddish eyes and glossy pink skin. It is small in comparison to the others it is traveling with and appears to be a youngster traveling with mama. After spotting the beautiful mammal cruising with a pod of four other dolphins, Rue and his guests Randy and Peyton Smith and Greg and Sam Elias of Monroe, LA idled nearby while watching and photographing the unusual sight for more than an hour. Thanks to JR

No Science/Math Education Gap October 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, In The News, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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The Science Education Myth
Their report shows U.S. student performance has steadily improved over time in math, science, and reading. It also found enrollment in math and science courses is actually up. For example, in 1982 high school graduates earned 2.6 math credits and 2.2 science credits on average. By 1998, the average number of credits increased to 3.5 math and 3.2 science credits. The percent of students taking chemistry increased from 45% in 1990 to 55% in 1996 and 60% in 2004. Scores in national tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the SAT, and the ACT have also shown increases in math scores over the past two decades.

And the new report again went against the grain when it compared the U.S. to other countries. It found that over the past decade the U.S. has ranked a consistent second place in science. It also was far ahead of other nations in reading and literacy and other academic areas. In fact, the report found that the U.S. is one of only a few nations that has consistently shown improvement over time

Glum UN Environmental Report October 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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The World Is Not Enough for Humans: Scientific American
Since 1987 annual emissions of carbon dioxide—the leading greenhouse gas warming the globe—have risen by a third, global fishing yields have declined by 10.6 million metric tons and the amount of land required to sustain humanity has swelled to more than 54 acres (22 hectares) per person. Yet, Earth can provide only roughly 39 acres (15 hectares) for every person living today, according to the United Nation’s Environmental Program’s (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook, released this week. “There are no major issues,” the report’s authors write of the period since their first report in 1987, “for which the foreseeable trends are favorable.”

Despite some successes—such as the Montreal Protocol’s 95 percent reduction in chemicals that damage the atmosphere’s ozone layer and a rise in protected reserves of habitat to cover 12 percent of the planet—humanity’s impact continues to grow.

“The systematic destruction of the earth’s natural and nature-based resources has reached a point where the economic viability of economies is being challenged,” Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director, said in a statement. “The bill we hand our children may prove impossible to pay.”

Most Dangerous Golf Course October 24, 2007

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AFP: The hazards of golfing in Afghanistan
KABUL (AFP) — Mohammad Afzal Abdul says he has been jailed twice for playing golf: once in the early 1980s after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and then again by the hardline Taliban government more than 10 years later.

Both times he was accused of being a spy because he mixed with foreigners at the Kabul Golf Club, which sits under the steep wall of the Qargar Dam and looks down a gently sloping valley towards the capital.

Abdul, now the pro at Afghanistan’s only golf club, doesn’t rule out his hobby landing him in jail again.

The extremist Taliban, who banned all sport including even kite-flying, were removed from government in 2001. But now, as an insurgent movement, they often accuse any Afghan who associates with foreigners of spying — and have killed several.

“Even right now, I feel some danger,” Abdul says in a dusty room, surrounded by donated clubs for hire and caps and t-shirts embroidered with the club logo for sale. “But I won’t leave,” he says.

“This is a place for fun and people need it. People always need to have a good time, even during war.”

Where Globalization Should Take Us October 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics, Lifestyle, philosophy & politics.
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U.S. must establish a new global narrative | ScrippsNews

Part of a recent article by the most prescient geo-political thinker doing the PowerPoint circuit.
Think back to this country’s settling of the American West across the 19th century. There were leading security issues (episodic Indian Wars) and trailing questions of political integration (states joining the Union through 1912), but the towering bulk of activity fell between those two milestones.

The functioning core of today’s global economy is defined as: the old West of North America, Europe and Japan; the rising East led by India, China and Russia; and the emerging South exemplified by Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa. This two-thirds of humanity — and roughly 90 percent of world GDP — engages in deep and systemic integration.

In stark contrast are globalization’s poorly integrated regions, or that one-third of humanity stretching from the equatorial Americas across Africa and Central/Southwest Asia to the littoral states of Southeast Asia. Globalization’s “gap” population survives on about 10 percent of the global GDP, and suffers all of its wars, instability, and virtually all of its terrorism too.

If the core suffers too much globalization too soon, the gap suffers too little and too late. (more…)

World Clock October 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics, Lifestyle, Web Site.
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World Clock

Just as the Chris Jordan photos, a few posts below, help you visualize the immensity of events, this clock gives you a perspective on the speed of events – from birth, divorce, disease, oil pumped to death – the numbers just keep ticking away. Thanks to Randy, who is beyond space & time.

That Damn China Dam October 21, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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The Dam Breaks – washingtonpost.com
We suppose it’s good news that China’s leaders, consistent with a recent increase in official candor about the country’s environmental woes, are finally facing the facts about Three Gorges. But for many years to come, the dam will stand as a monument to their folly and their arrogance.

A “catastrophe” is possible if preventive steps are not taken promptly, the official Xinhua news agency said last week. Apparently, thickly populated river banks near Chongqing have been weakened by the project, and landslides — including one June 28 that killed four people — are a frequent occurrence. The new reservoir’s shoreline is collapsing in 91 places. In addition, the Yangtze is silting up because of the reduced flow of water, and pollutants are accumulating behind the dam — exactly as critics had predicted.

Best Free Internet Radio October 21, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, cool stuff, Lifestyle, Music.

Slacker Web Player

From PC Magazine Review… Without so much as registering, you can browse and play the service’s 75-plus genre stations and 10,000-plus artist stations. But the real fun lies in creating custom stations: Unlike Last.fm and Pandora, which try to dish up music you’ll like based on a single selected artist, Slacker lets you build entire stations of favorite artists. So it’s a simple matter to whip up a station with, say, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, and other Brit-pop chanteuses; when you search for one, Slacker lists upwards of 50 similar artists you can select to round out your station. You can also search for others to add manually, creating whatever kind of mix you like.

Lucky Dube’s murder throws spotlight on to crime in South Africa October 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Music.
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Lucky Dube’s murder throws spotlight on to crime in South Africa – Times Online
In a recent interview Lucky Dube, predicted that he would be killed by the current South African government over his vehemnt criticism of their corruption and inability to even attempt to control the rampant drug-based crime wave and rape epidemic. If the shooting was an alleged car jacking, then why did the 3 atackers drive away in their blue VW and not take his Chrysler? The issue of ever-worsening crime has cut across race lines and led to unprecedented criticism of the Government of President Mbeki. Last year one government minister provoked outrage when he said in parliament that “white whingers” should leave the country if they did not like it. It was seen as a turning point because many blacks and Coloureds then added their voice to criticisms of the Government’s failure to live up to promises to bring crime under control.

For years the Government maintained that crime was not as bad as wealthy people claimed, but recently the statistics, such as 50 murders a day and one rape every 40 seconds, have begun to damage investment and alarm big business.

Images of US Consumption October 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Art, Cool photos, Economy & Business, Enviroment, Lifestyle, Photography, Web Site.
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chris jordan photography

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. This image if from 106,000 aluminum cans, the quantity discarded in the US every 30 seconds!

Cops on Steroids October 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle.
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ABC News: Big, Buff and Bad: Police on Steroids

A common side effect of steroid use is violent, aggressive behavior that can contribute to poor judgment and even police brutality, according to medical experts.

Gene Sanders, a Spokane, Wash., police psychologist, estimates that up to 25 percent of all police officers in urban settings with gangs and high crime use steroids — many of them defensively.

“How do I deal with people who are in better shape than me and want to kill me?” said Sanders, who worked as a street cop in Los Angeles in the 1970s and saw steroid use soar in the 1990s.

Where have all the Neocons Gone? October 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News and politics, philosophy & politics.
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Neo Culpa: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com
I interviewed some of the neocons before the invasion and, like many people, found much to admire in their vision of spreading democracy in the Middle East.

I expect to encounter disappointment. What I find instead is despair, and fury at the incompetence of the Bush administration many neocons once saw as their brightest hope.

Free Daily Show 8 year archive October 18, 2007

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Viacom opens up Daily Show archive – FierceIPTV – IPTV News, IP Videos, Quadruple Play, Set-top box
Viacom has put online the entire eight year archive of its top rating comedy series, Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a move which will be closely watched by all the major networks, advertisers, telcos and the burgeoning new media video industry. The LA Times reports producers have being preparing since June 13,000 clips — together with ads — to be placed on the Daily Show’s own site. The archive is searchable and free for all to use.

Viacom’s decision to post its entire archive–while fighting YouTube in the courts–sets the scene for a battle between the established media players and their high profile entertainment brands against the user generated content sites, most notable YouTube.

Also watching closely the Viacom experiment will be the telco IPTV industry which has seen the market place change rapidly as the quality of online video continues to improve, with at least one platform/site, Vimeo, already offering 1280X720 HD quality direct from the browser. Adobe is shortly to release its latest Flash Player software (beta now available), which promises MPEG 4 broadcast like quality and which will significantly improve the quality of online video for all distributors and platforms.

Grandfather Dylan October 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor, Lifestyle, Music.
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May 3, 2007 — KINDERGARTEN kids in ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas have been coming home to their parents and talking about the “weird man” who keeps coming to their class to sing “scary” songs on his guitar. The “weird” one turns out to be Bob Dylan, whose grandson (Jakob Dylan’s son) attends the school. He’s been singing to the kindergarten class just for fun, but the kiddies have no idea they’re being serenaded by a musical legend – to them, he’s just Weird Guitar Guy. Thanks to Maria for finding this one in Reader’s Digest of all places. Picture of Dylan & his kids from Woodstock 1970


Blame The Middle East Mess On the Brits & the French? October 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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The Middle East Is Born Again – Forbes.com

“The peace settlements that followed World War I have recently come back into focus as one of the dominant factors shaping the modern world. The Balkans, the Middle East, Iraq, Turkey, and parts of Africa all owe their present-day problems, in part, to these negotiations.” —Ambassador Richard Holbrooke
The French and the British, beginning in 1919 Paris, sought to replace Arab political structures with their own European designs, creating nations in their own Western image. It was hardly a model for peace and prosperity. This template had, after all, led to a succession of bloody wars in Europe over the previous millennium. Still, Europe became the central power in the Middle East. The Western model of nations appeared to the peacemakers in Paris to be more akin to convenient political organizations with which to negotiate and do business than a host of feuding tribes.

The result is a legacy that continues to plague the region. Today, the United States is the region’s dominant power. But do the Iraqi people really want America’s Western-style democracy, or like the British and French before, does the U.S. simply want to create nations that resemble itself? In any case, it’s probably too late. The ethnic amalgams created in Paris in 1919 make any democratic nation as now constituted in a region like the Middle East problematic, as the West has already discovered in Yugoslavia. (more…)

Serving Pasta? Forget What You Learned October 17, 2007

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Serving Pasta? Forget What You Learned – New York Times
Instead of a pound of pasta for two to four people, make a half, or even a third of a pound. Instead of a cup or two of sauce, make it four cups, or more. Turn the proportions around.

What do you wind up with? Pasta more or less overwhelmed by sauce, which you can view as a cardinal sin or as a moist, flavorful one-dish meal of vegetables with the distinctive, lovable chewiness of pasta. (There is, of course, a tradition of this kind of pasta dish in Italy, but it falls more under the category of minestre, which is closer to soup.) It’s also an easy way to significantly increase your intake of vegetables without adding too many refined carbohydrates, and may, if you’ve abandoned it, get you back into pasta again.

Why Men Are Funnier Than Women October 16, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle, Religion.
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Why Women Aren’t Funny: Entertainment & Culture: vanityfair.com
The plain fact is that the physical structure of the human being is a joke in itself: a flat, crude, unanswerable disproof of any nonsense about “intelligent design.” The reproductive and eliminating functions (the closeness of which is the origin of all obscenity) were obviously wired together in hell by some subcommittee that was giggling cruelly as it went about its work. (“Think they’d wear this? Well, they’re gonna have to.”) The resulting confusion is the source of perhaps 50 percent of all humor. Filth. That’s what the customers want, as we occasional stand-up performers all know. Filth, and plenty of it. Filth in lavish, heaping quantities. And there’s another principle that helps exclude the fair sex. “Men obviously like gross stuff,” says Fran Lebowitz. “Why? Because it’s childish.”

For women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing. Apart from giving them a very different attitude to filth and embarrassment, it also imbues them with the kind of seriousness and solemnity at which men can only goggle.

Mark Foley Revealed October 15, 2007

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Mark Foley’s Private Life: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com
Everyone knew Mark Foley was gay. Everyone. And everyone who had a stake in his success—party, press, parents, staff, supporters, and pages—conspired for their own purposes to keep the closet half closed.

Born at the peak of the baby boom, in 1954, he grew up near Palm Beach, in the scrappy little town of Lake Worth, Florida, which in recent years has become a popular refuge for gay retirees. That subculture most likely did not enter into the consciousness of his parents, Irish Catholics from Massachusetts.

Londoners commute to see their “Local” doctors October 15, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business.
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Bloomberg.com: U.K. & Ireland
U.K. businesses lose four times as many hours of productivity to doctor visits than to strikes, said the Confederation of British Industry, the country’s main employer group.

The taxpayer-funded NHS provides health care to all Britons, with no direct payments for doctor consultations or services when they go through their registered general practitioner. The requirement is a legacy from the days when physicians were expected to pay house calls.

However, delays and inconvenience mean U.K. workers spend 3.5 million working days a year traveling to and from NHS family doctor visits, at an annual cost of 1 billion pounds to employers, the CBI says.

Paddle Surfing Rapids October 11, 2007

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Who says you need the Ocean to go Paddle Surfing?

Surfing as A Blast October 11, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle, Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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If you are really in desperate need of a wave…

Mahalo to Kent Lighter for this video, who gets to surf in warmer water, than this guy or this guy.

And Now For The Good News, from the UN October 9, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics, In The News, Lifestyle, News and politics, philosophy & politics, Politics.
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Clear-Eyed Optimists – WSJ.com
In the late 60’s a group of scientists calling themselves the Club of Rome issued a report called “Limits to Growth.” It explained that lifeboat Earth had become so weighed down with humans that we were running out of food, minerals, forests, water, energy and just about everything else that we need for survival. Paul Ehrlich’s best-selling book “The Population Bomb” (1968) gave England a 50-50 chance of surviving into the 21st century. In 1980, Jimmy Carter released the “Global 2000 Report,” which declared that life on Earth was getting worse in every measurable way.

So imagine how shocked I was to learn, officially, that we’re not doomed after all. A new United Nations report called “State of the Future” concludes: “People around the world are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, more connected, and they are living longer.”

Yes, of course, there was the obligatory bad news: Global warming is said to be getting worse and income disparities are widening. But the joyous trends in health and wealth documented in the report indicate a gigantic leap forward for humanity. This is probably the first time you’ve heard any of this because — while the grim “Global 2000” and “Limits to Growth” reports were deemed worthy of headlines across the country — the media mostly ignored the good news and the upbeat predictions of “State of the Future.”

But here they are: World-wide illiteracy rates have fallen by half since 1970 and now stand at an all-time low of 18%. More people live in free countries than ever before. The average human being today will live 50% longer in 2025 than one born in 1955. (more…)

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