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Mega-yacht Half-way Free December 29, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News.
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The Triton – Nautical news for captains and crews

Click on the link above to see more pictures and the whole report from Capt. Tom Serio
Phone calls to government officials and others involved with the recovery were not returned in the past two months so, in late November, I flew over Legacy to find out her status. She is still in the marine sanctuary just north of Key West, where she was deposited by Hurricane Wilma two years ago a few dozen yards from Bluefish Channel.

The latest recovery process of pulling her out the way she went in has freed her from the bottom and continues. Originally speculated in early September to take three weeks, pulling Legacy to deep water has so far taken three months, with probably several more to go.

This current recovery process (others have been tried but failed) includes creating a channel in front of Legacy by removing the sandy bottom using an auger and pump. The sand is then relocated aft as the yacht moves forward. A series of cables connected to her hull run along the initial path of entry cut in the sea grass (almost a mile long), out to a utility boat, the Helen B. Legacy is pulled several feet at a time by the utility vessel.

Search on this blog for “Mega-yacht” to see more articles on this ongoing sea saga.

Don’t Cry For Me Pakistan December 29, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
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Don’t Cry For Me Pakistan

Bhutto was a frivolously wealthy feudal landlord amid bleak poverty. The scion of a thieving political dynasty, she was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani. Her program remained one of old-school patronage, not increased productivity or social decency.

Educated in expensive Western schools, she permitted Pakistan’s feeble education system to rot – opening the door to Islamists and their religious schools.

During her years as prime minister, Pakistan went backward, not forward. Her husband looted shamelessly and ended up fleeing the country, pursued by the courts. The Islamist threat – which she artfully played both ways – spread like cancer.

But she always knew how to work Westerners – unlike the hapless Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself. (more…)

It was 20 years ago.. December 28, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, cool stuff, Science & Technology, Technology.
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Sgt. Pepper had already taught the band to play and 1 Gigabyte of storage has since shrunk to a small chip from this behemoth that cost thousands of dollars.

20-years-1-gb-memorythumbnail.jpg

Your Camera Phone As Scanner December 26, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Photography, Technology.
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scanR
scanR is a free service that lets you use your mobile camera phone or digital camera to clean photos of whiteboards, documents and business cards, extract the printed information, and get a digital file in your email, contact manager, or fax.

7 Medical Myths December 21, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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BBC NEWS | Health | ‘Medical myths’ exposed as untrue

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
We use only 10% of our brains
Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser
Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals
Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy
But a review of evidence by US researchers surrounding seven commonly-hold beliefs suggests they are actually “medical myths”.

The march of the Penguins (“Emperor” in French) December 21, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle, Streamingvideo, Video.
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China 40% smaller than thought – IMF December 17, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, In The News.
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News & Broadcast – 2005 International Comparison Program Preliminary Global Report Compares Size of Economies
The International Comparison Program (ICP) today released new data showing the world economy produced goods and services worth almost $55 trillion in 2005 and that almost 40 percent of the world’s output came from developing economies.

  • Twelve economies account for more than two-thirds of the world’s output. Seven of them are high-income economies (United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and, Spain), and five are developing or transitional economies (China, India, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico). The five largest developing economies account for more than 20 percent of global output and over 27 percent of the world expenditures for investment purposes. 
  • China participated in the survey program for the first time ever and India for the first time since 1985. These results are more statistically reliable estimates of the size and price levels of both economies. The previous, less reliable, methods led to estimates of their GDPs that were 40 percent larger than the results of the new, improved methods and benchmark. China still ranks as the world’s second largest economy with over 9 percent of world production and India follows as the fifth largest with over 4 percent of the world total.

KiteMan December 17, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Lifestyle, Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Some amazing video from Switzerland of base-jumping like a flying squirrel. There is a world-wide race to develop the first WingSuit that doesn’t need a parachute to land alive.

Thanks to Steve Shoupp.

Our Unlimited Energy Source – Methane Hydrate? December 17, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics, Science & Technology.
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Warning Signs on the Ocean Floor: China and India Exploit Icy Energy Reserves – International – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News

World reserves of the frozen gas are enormous. Geologists estimate that significantly more hydrocarbons are bound in the form of methane hydrate than in all known reserves of coal, natural gas and oil combined.
In the West, this potential fuel from the ocean floor has for the most part been the stuff of fantasy. But it’s a different story in Asia. The People’s Republic of China is investing millions to study this massive source of energy. The same holds true for India, South Korea and Taiwan.

But many scientists see the flames licking out of samples in Indian and Chinese laboratories as a warning sign. They fear that one day the methane from the ocean floor will heat up the world’s climate to a far greater extent than coal, oil and natural gas do today.

This is precisely what scientists at the Institute for Marine Research (GEOMAR) based in the northern German seaport of Kiel want to avert. They hope to be able to transform a potential curse into a blessing before it’s too late. They envision a method whereby the flammable gas would be extracted from the sediment with the help of carbon dioxide. (more…)

Cat Beds With Chicks December 16, 2007

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The Dollar Was Overvalued December 16, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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Foreign Policy: Don’t Bet Against the Dollar
Fed Dollar Window Countries hold dollar assets because they want trade surpluses with the United States. According to this theory, many countries can’t generate enough domestic consumption to spur growth and full employment, forcing them to rely on exports. As the United States is the world’s largest consumer market, countries therefore have an incentive to make their goods cheaper and more competitive by undervaluing their currencies against the dollar. This obliges them to buy and hold dollars to maintain their undervalued exchange rates. The economic history of the past decade bears this theory out. Since the late 1990s, American consumers have powered a global boom, compensating for weak domestic demand in much of the world. But their massive spending on goods imported from abroad has also caused the U.S. trade deficit to balloon to $759 billion dollars in 2006, equal to 5.8 percent of U.S. GDP.

But being preoccupied with the dollar’s dominance is the wrong goal in the first place. Indeed, the policy of a “strong dollar” contributed to creating the overvalued dollar, and has always been misguided. Instead, the target should be sustainable prosperity, one requirement for which is exchange rates that prevent excessive trade deficits. This will automatically deliver a “sound dollar,” which is a better basis for a dollar standard that works. From this perspective, far from being a strike against the dollar, the appreciation of the euro is a welcome development. The Chinese yuan and Japanese yen should be allowed to appreciate as well. The next step is for U.S. policymakers to set up international arrangements to prevent future damaging exchange rate misalignments—such as the ones now being corrected.

10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World. December 16, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment.
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Neatorama » Blog Archive » 10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World.

“A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food,
warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to
those who wield an axe to cut it down
” – Buddha.

There are probably hundreds of majestic and magnificent trees in the world – of these, some are particularly special:

12 Days of X-mas Medeld With December 15, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Music, Streamingvideo, Video.
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This College glee club sings a clever version of the 12 days of Christmas. Thanks Chad Brisbane.

Sex with your Cyber SlutBot December 12, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Humor, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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The oldest profession combined with the newest technology | Technology | The Guardian
That our computers have seduced us has long been a truism. Now, thanks to the ever-inventive internet mafia, it is becoming a literal truth. Russian cyber-crooks have reportedly unleashed a software robot, or bot, that poses as a would-be paramour in sex chatrooms. It entices randy gentlemen to reveal personal information, such as their address or birthday, or even to submit photographs of themselves. The information can then be used to break into bank accounts or carry out other forms of fraud.

The slutbot plies its trade with a true robotic efficiency. The virtual minx is able to carry out 10 seductions over half an hour. It never even has to stop for a shower. In some cases, it coaxes its targets to visit a personal site, where a virus is downloaded onto their computers. It certainly gives a whole new, high-tech twist to sexually transmitted diseases, anyway.

Rapid acceleration in human evolution described December 10, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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Rapid acceleration in human evolution described | Lifestyle | Living | Reuters
Many of the recent genetic changes reflect differences in the human diet brought on by agriculture, as well as resistance to epidemic diseases that became mass killers following the growth of human civilizations, the researchers said.

For example, Africans have new genes providing resistance to malaria. In Europeans, there is a gene that makes them better able to digest milk as adults. In Asians, there is a gene that makes ear wax more dry.

The changes have been driven by the colossal growth in the human population — from a few million to 6.5 billion in the past 10,000 years — with people moving into new environments to which they needed to adapt, added Henry Harpending, a University of Utah anthropologist. Beneficial genetic changes have appeared at a rate roughly 100 times higher in the past 5,000 years than at any previous period of human evolution, the researchers determined. They added that about 7 percent of human genes are undergoing rapid, relatively recent evolution.

$57 Million for 3″ Statue – Most Ever December 9, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Art, Economy & Business, In The News.
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Bloomberg.com: Muse
An ancient limestone statue of a regal lioness just 3 inches tall sold today for $57.2 million including commission at Sotheby’s in New York, almost doubling the previous auction record for sculpture.

The price more than tripled the lioness’s presale high estimate of $18 million. The previous record for sculpture was $29.2 million for a Picasso bronze, “Tete de Femme (Dora Maar),” sold last month at Sotheby’s in New York.

Known as the Guennol Lioness, the 5,000-year-old Elam statue is said to have been made in what is now Iran and found near Baghdad, Sotheby’s said. Sounds like petro-dollars being recycled. Thanks to Tom Carhart.

Video -Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats, Domino – Boogie, live December 8, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Music, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis & Fats Domino – Sit back and enjoy something you don’t see every day – all 3 playing pianos on the same stage at the same time – with Carl Perkins, Ron Wood  backing them up on guitar. Recorded 15 September 2006 Location: Netherlands Thanks to Chip Welfeld

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The Untold Story of America ‘s Deadliest Hotel Fire December 7, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, News, Photography.
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Pulitzer Photo
The windows of the 15-story Winecoff Hotel were backlit by orange flames. Guests–jumping out of panic or falling from makeshift ropes of bedsheets as they tried to escape the terrible smoke–were landing and dying on Peachtree Street. Amid the pandemonium and a cacophony of sirens, Hardy went to work. He took a shot that spanned the front of the building and the faces of the doomed in the windows–the mutely pleading, hopeless faces. When he was down to his final flashbulb–one had exploded in the cold night air–Hardy decided to try for a picture of a falling or jumping guest. When his viewfinder found a dark-haired woman falling midair at the third floor, her skirt billowing, he snapped the shutter open for 1/400th of a second.

With his photography completed, Hardy heard a fireman and policeman at a drugstore across the street discussing calling the store owner so they could obtain medical supplies. He told them to break the door open. When they said they wouldn’t he kicked it open himself. He was quickly arrested.

As the Red Cross moved into the store to set up a first-aid station and make sandwiches and coffee for the firemen, Hardy was led off to jail. Upon being released on his own recognizance, he headed for the darkroom at the Tech research search lab. He developed his film and struck out for the Associated Press office downtown. The AP offered him $150 for exclusive rights to his pictures. He said he wanted $300–and got it. His final photograph–the one of the jumping woman–would be reprinted around the world the following day, and be on magazine covers for weeks. The fire had killed 119 people and drawn international coverage as the worst hotel fire in the history of the world. A few months later, Hardy became the first amateur photographer to win the Pulitzer Prize. More Pictures

Vegetables Make Music? December 7, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Enviroment, Humor, Music.
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the vegetable orchestra
The Vegetable Orchestra performs music solely on instruments made of vegetables. Using carrot flutes, pumpkin basses, leek violins, leek-zucchini-vibrators, cucumberophones and celery bongos, the orchestra creates its own extraordinary and vegetabile sound universe. The ensemble overcomes preserved and marinated sound conceptions or tirelessly re-stewed listening habits, putting its focus on expanding the variety of vegetable instruments, developing novel musical ideas and exploring fresh vegetable sound gardens.

Use Genes To Choose Treatment for Mental Disorders December 5, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Best Treatment Option for Mental Disorders May Come Down to Genes: Scientific American
The study could improve current treatments for patients suffering from mental illnesses. The proper antipsychotic drugs may in the future be determined by genotyping patients to assure the most positive effect. Physicians now often have to try out different drugs to test their effectiveness, because this class of medications is highly varied and targets different brain receptors. Such findings as these could dramatically reduce the guesswork involved, thereby leading to the proper prescription from day one. Currently, Sadee says, antipsychotics are only effective 50 to 60 percent of the time and take five to six weeks to begin working.

Sex & the Abaya December 5, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Lifestyle, Religion.
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Indecent Exposure – TIME
At the nub of debates over Muslim integration in the West lies the question, What’s decent to do in public–display your sexuality or your faith? The French have no problem with bare breasts on billboards and TV but big problems with hijab-covered heads in public schools and government offices. Many Muslims feel just the opposite. As my friend suggested, Westerners believe that prayer is something best done in private, a matter for individual souls rather than state institutions. In the Islamic world, religion is out of the closet: on the streets, chanted five times daily from minarets, enshrined in constitutions, party platforms and penal codes. Sexual matters are kept discreet.

Let’s Say Thanks December 4, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool Sites, Lifestyle.
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Let’s Say Thanks

If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. Thanks to Marcia Ullian for passing this on.

December 4, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, cool stuff, Science & Technology.
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A Mafia hit-man had to open his violin case to get to his machine gun,but not with this briefcase.

Here is their web-site from the same State as the home of the Porsche Carrera GT.

Catfish Noodling December 4, 2007

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Arkansas bare-handed “fishin'” for Catfish

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.liveleak.com posted with vodpod

Problems For Perfectionists December 4, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Religion, Science & Technology.
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Perfectionism – Psychology – Mental Health and Behavior – New York Times

“Perfection, as always, is the enemy of good enough.”  – Thomas Barnett

Some researchers divide perfectionists into three types, based on answers to standardized questionnaires: Self-oriented strivers who struggle to live up to their high standards and appear to be at risk of self-critical depression; outwardly focused zealots who expect perfection from others, often ruining relationships; and those desperate to live up to an ideal they’re convinced others expect of them, a risk factor for suicidal thinking and eating disorders.

“It’s natural for people to want to be perfect in a few things, say in their job — being a good editor or surgeon depends on not making mistakes,” said Gordon L. Flett, a psychology professor at York University and an author of many of the studies. “It’s when it generalizes to other areas of life, home life, appearance, hobbies, that you begin to see real problems.”

This is why experts have long debated the wisdom of insisting on abstinence as necessary in treating substance abuse. Most rehab clinics are based on this principle: Either you’re clean or you’re not; there’s no safe level of use. This approach has unquestionably worked for millions of addicts, but if the studies of perfectionists are any guide it has undermined the efforts of many others.

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