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A Simple, Cheap Way To Produce Hydrogen? February 27, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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[ QuantumSphere, Inc. ]
If this Press Release pans out, it could bring about the Hydrogen-based Economy. The process by which electricity is used to generate hydrogen and oxygen from water is called electrolysis. Through the use of a new proprietary nano catalyst formulation, QuantumSphere has demonstrated production of hydrogen and oxygen in an alkaline electrolyzer with 85 percent efficiency under ambient conditions, making it a commercially viable replacement for fossil fuel-based production methods.

Although identified as a candidate with the potential to lower dependency on petroleum, today’s current large-scale hydrogen production techniques also produce an inordinate amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. For example, the steam-reformation process – which accounts for roughly 85% of hydrogen production using natural gas – produces four pounds of greenhouse gases for every one pound of hydrogen produced. “While hydrogen has long been promoted for its clean energy potential, the most common method of production of the gas has been a dirty little secret in terms of the amount of fossil fuels used and the greenhouse gasses generated,” said Kevin Maloney, president and CEO, QuantumSphere, Inc. (more…)

Stuck MegaYacht Finally Free February 27, 2008

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Yacht stuck for 2 ½ years finally free – 02/27/2008 – MiamiHerald.com

Update Megayacht Stuck again

This was supposed to be the end to this ongoing sea saga, that has been one of this blogs most popular stories. From The Triton:

(FEB. 26, 2008) — S/Y Legacy is floating free today after being marooned off of Key West for almost 2 1/2 years. “We busted loose today,” came owner Peter Halmos’ e-mail at about 1:30 a.m. this morning, referring to Monday’s long day of pulling the 158-foot Perini Navi out of the sand and sea grass by Byrd Commercial Diving of Miami.Although the recovery path was about a mile long, it’s been a long journey. Regulatory restrictions, marine sanctuary concerns, additional damage to the area, and some legal wrangling all added to the recovery time frame. Failed attempts, including a coffer-dam setup that never worked, added to the woes. The trenching and pulling of this current effort took about six months. Legacy will be towed to a local area that Halmos described as “about two miles as the crow flies, but 2 1/2 years of twists and turns.”

From the Miami Herald:

Here’s how they did it, according to Christian Byrd, a third-generation partner in the family business: (more…)

Tree Ring Evidence Reverses Findings February 26, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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DailyTech – Reseacher: Arctic Temperatures “Not Especially Warm”

Grudd’s results contradict his earlier reconstructions of Arctic temperatures, which demonstrated significantly cooler temperatures prior to 1900. The difference, he claims, is due to more accurate scanning of samples, along with a better understanding of how tree ring widths and density respond to temperature changes.

Grudd, of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, compared both tree ring width and maximum density, to construct the most accurate data yet seen for the region. He found a sharp warming trend since the year 1900. However, over the entire period, several such warming events were seen with temperatures in at least four periods (AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750) all equally warm or warmer than at present.

Most surprising of all, he noted, when taken as a whole temperatures in the Arctic have actually declined 0.3 degrees over the past 1,000 years. As Grudd himself says, temperatures at present are “not especially warm.”

The full temperature record also reveals why the last 100 years has appeared unusual — the year 1900 was actually the coldest of the entire period.

Climate Change – The Sun Or The SUV? February 26, 2008

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DailyTech – Solar Activity Diminishes; Researchers Predict Another Ice Age
During the Little Ice Age, global temperatures dropped sharply. New York Harbor froze hard enough to allow people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island, and in Britain, people reported sighting eskimos paddling canoes off the coast. Glaciers in Norway grew up to 100 meters a year, destroying farms and villages.

But will it happen again?

In 2005, Russian astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov predicted the sun would soon peak, triggering a rapid decline in world temperatures. Only last month, the view was echoed by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. who advised the world to “stock up on fur coats.” Sorokhtin, who calls man’s contribution to climate change “a drop in the bucket,” predicts the solar minimum to occur by the year 2040, with icy weather lasting till 2100 or beyond.

Brutal Winter Or Ice Age? February 26, 2008

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Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age
This blog has been covering the Scientific Journals coverage of this developing  story. With this article Canada’s main Newspaper is the 1st “Major Media” to pick it up.

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average.” (more…)

Taliban wants cell phone networks shut down at night February 26, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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Taliban wants cell phone networks shut down at night
The towers and offices of mobile phone operators in Afghanistan are being pressured to shut down operations at night by the Taliban. The former rulers of Afghanistan and current insurgent group held “talks” with the four major mobile companies in Afghanistan today, and gave them three days to go dark for 14 hours per day—or else.

The reason for the threat is the Taliban’s belief that American soldiers and rebels within Afghanistan are using mobile phones to track down remaining Taliban members. “Since the occupying forces stationed in Afghanistan usually at night use mobile phones for espionage to track down the mujahideen, the Islamic Emirate gave a three-day ultimatum to all mobile phone firms to switch off their phones from five in the afternoon until seven in the morning,” Taliban spokesperson Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters, ironically via mobile phone (and presumably during daylight).

Bee Colonies’ Collapse Still A Mystery February 24, 2008

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Honey Bees Give Clues on Virus Spread
Hagan Daz is blaming their latest price increase, among others, on the lack of bees to pollinate ingredients, such as fruits and nuts. Everyone likes a medical mystery — even more so when the mystery in question is solved. When a few people in Queens developed fevers in 1999, scientists pinpointed an American strain of West Nile virus. When people in East Asia began to get particularly wicked coughs in 2003, scientists discovered an entirely new virus called SARS. As much as we admire the ingenuity that went into solving these medical enigmas, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the medical-sleuthing stories that haven’t yet reached a satisfying ending. Their very mystery actually says something important about how nature works.

Last spring, U.S. beekeepers realized that one-third of their hives had collapsed. Honeybees were simply flying away to die. This strange phenomenon, now called Colony Collapse Disorder, threatens more than the honey industry. Fifteen billion dollars worth of U.S. crops such as almonds and apples simply will not grow if honeybees don’t pollinate them. (more…)

The Write Time, Every Time February 23, 2008

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Just Click Here to see what we’re talking about (Thanks to always-on-time Jeff Ullian)

Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger? February 23, 2008

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Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger? | Gerard Baker – Times Online

America is certainly moving left in the post-George Bush era. The long period of conservative ascendancy is clearly over, buried by a Republican Party of recent years that has preached intolerance and practised incompetence. That a new era in American politics is beginning is not in doubt. But are Americans really ready to leap all the way across in one go to embrace a European-style Left?

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations. What this British Commentator cannot know is just how much of Obama’s rhetoric may just be aimed at his base to help win his Party’s Nomination.

The Decline Of Golf February 23, 2008

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More Americans Are Giving Up Golf – New York Times

You would think that with all of the baby Boomers Retiring. One complaint that I’ve heard is that with the Pros designing courses that they have gotten too hard for the average golfer to enjoy. (Picture of Tigers new yacht)

The disappearance of golfers over the past several years is part of a broader decline in outdoor activities — including tennis, swimming, hiking, biking and downhill skiing — according to a number of academic and recreation industry studies.

“The man in the street will tell you that golf is booming because he sees Tiger Woods on TV,” Mr. Kass said. “But we track the reality. The reality is, while we haven’t exactly tanked, the numbers have been disappointing for some time.”
(more…)

The Ultimate Date Rape Drug February 23, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff.
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Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.vbs.tv posted with vodpod

Tuna fisheries facing a cod-like collapse February 23, 2008

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Tuna fisheries facing a cod-like collapse – earth – 19 February 2008 – New Scientist Environment
The collapse of north Atlantic cod populations could provide an important lesson for preventing tuna from suffering a similar fate worldwide, researchers say. Over-fishing caused Canada’s cod industry to plummet in value from $1.4 billion in 1968 to just $10 million in 2004. Now researchers warn that tuna fisheries worldwide are on the brink of a similar collapse.

tunacharlie.gif“Cod have been reduced to between 1% and 3% of their natural abundance and people still want to fish them,” says Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. “Are we going to do the same thing with tuna?”

From 1960 to 2000, worldwide tuna production doubled roughly every 10 years and peaked at 4.45 million tons in 2004. But the impact of intensive fishing is starting to be felt. In 2001, the western and central Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna fishing industry was worth $1.9 billion. By 2004, its value had dropped by more than 40% to $1.1 billion. According to Barbara Block of Stanford University in California, US, Atlantic bluefin tuna populations have declined by as much as 90% since the 1970s and Mediterranean bluefin by about 50%. In both cases, the rate of decline has accelerated in recent years. Thanks to Bruce Potter

Bucket List Rodeo Style February 23, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Sports, Streamingvideo, Video.
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 To the sound of “What if you knew that you were dying”, bareback horse rider, Stacy Westfall, puts in a winning and inspirational ride in memory of her dad , who had just died 24 days earlier. Thanks to Jeff Ullian

Many Blacks Fear Obama’s Asssassanation February 22, 2008

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Many Blacks Fear for Obama’s Safety – TIME
For many older blacks, the barometer for gauging hopes and fears is the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But concern about Obama’s safety transcends racial lines. He has white supporters who see him as an inspiring, youthful advocate of change in the mold of Robert F. Kennedy, and they are mindful of Kennedy’s assassination just two months after King’s.

Pam Hart, the principal of a multiracial elementary school in the Philadelphia suburb of Cheltenham, said she is struck by the contrast between some of the black students there, innocently excited about Obama’s candidacy, and the more anxious perspective of older people who lived through the violence of the 1960s.

Disappearing Car Door February 20, 2008

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Superdelegates For Sale February 19, 2008

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Capital Eye – Seeking Superdelegates
Because superdelegates will make up around 20 percent of 4,000 delegates to the Democratic convention in August–Republicans don’t have superdelegates—Clinton and Obama are aggressively wooing the more than 400 superdelegates who haven’t yet made up their minds. Since 2005 Obama has given 52 of the undecided superdelegates a total of at least $363,900, while Clinton has given a total of $88,000 to 15 of them. Anticipating that their intense competition for votes in state primaries and caucuses will result in a near-tie going into the nominating convention, the two candidates are making personal calls to superdelegates now, or are recruiting other big names to do so on their behalf. With no specific rules about what can and can’t be done to court these delegates, just about anything goes.

Was Obama A “Red Diaper Baby”? February 19, 2008

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Political Affairs Magazine – Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party
This is an excerpt from a speech transcript in the Official Communist Party Magazine. It will be picked up by the blogs looking for the “red diaper baby” raised:  In Hawaii was an African-American poet and journalist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, who was certainly in the orbit of the CP – if not a member – and who was born in Kansas and spent a good deal of his adult life in Chicago, before decamping to Honolulu in 1948 at the suggestion of his good friend Paul Robeson. Eventually, he befriended another family – a Euro-American family – that had migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago. In his best selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father’, the author speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as “Frank” as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation. The reasearch that dug this up came, from of all places, a Libertarian, Anti-Communist New Zealand Blogger The evidence here appears to have some scholarly credibility; as opposed to the earlier lies of his ihadist schooling in Indonesia, using the Koran to take the oath of office and refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Rise Of The Independent Party February 19, 2008

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Lexington | A declaration on independents | Economist.com
ONE of the most interesting political videos on YouTube features a young Obama supporter, Derrick Ashong. A camera-wielding interviewer collars Mr Ashong in the street and starts to pepper him with questions. The interviewer assumes that his victim’s casual appearance—he is wearing a baseball hat, a shell necklace and is chewing gum—betokens an equally casual approach to politics. “Do you have any specifics?” he demands aggressively. “What are their policies?” Mr Ashong delivers a series of carefully argued replies that could form the basis of an editorial in a serious newspaper. The interviewer is increasingly abashed. But, having delivered his defence of Barack Obama, Mr Ashong concludes the interview by saying “I’m independent. I’m not a Democrat. I might vote for McCain.”

Share Your ITunes February 19, 2008

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doubleTwist | FAQ
Free DoubleTwist desktop makes it easy to invite your friends to join doubleTwist through Outlook and Facebook. Once your friends are using doubleTwist, sharing with them is as easy as dragging & dropping the files you’d like to share.

Your friends will receive a notification that you’ve sent them files. They’ll have two weeks to download files you’ve sent them before they expire.

heck out our sharing demo to see sharing in action.

10) How do I view media files I’ve received?
doubleTwist’s “home” tab has a notification area that shows when you receive new files from friends. doubleTwist desktop automatically downloads files to your computer. You can then play or view files within the application.Check out our home demo to see file downloading & playback in action.
11) How does sync work and what can I sync?
doubleTwist lets you sync iTunes playlists with several mobile phones, MP3 players and game consoles. Our application also supports syncing music you’ve purchased from the iTunes store.doubleTwist will be adding sync support for pictures and video soon.

Check out our sync demo to see syncing in action. (more…)

Saving Compulsive Hoarders From Themselves February 19, 2008

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Willamette Week | “<b>The Cleaners:</b> The Organizer” | February 13th, 2008

Penelope Rose Miller’s career as a professional organizer began three years ago, at the entrance to an apartment in San Francisco.

From the doorway of the apartment, which belonged to a successful female professional, Rose Miller could see nothing but stuff. Everywhere. Each room was filled with mountains of clutter, untouched and unused for months or years. The only open spaces were narrow pathways through the mess, winding from room to room. One room was completely sealed off with hoarded items stacked from floor to ceiling.

It was time to get to work. (more…)

The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama February 18, 2008

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The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama – New York Times
The Token Conservative on the NY Times Editorial page continues the Obama Coronation Chorus arising from the Media. Whatever the potency of his political skills and message, Mr. Obama is also riding a demographic wave. The authors of the new book “Millennial Makeover,” Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, point out that the so-called millennial generation (dating from 1982) is the largest in American history, boomers included, and that roughly 40 percent of it is African-American, Latino, Asian or racially mixed. One in five millennials has an immigrant parent. It’s this generation that is fueling the excitement and some of the record turnout of the Democratic primary campaign, and not just for Mr. Obama.

Even by the low standards of his party, Mr. McCain has underperformed at reaching millennials in the thriving culture where they live. His campaign’s effort to create a MySpace-like Web site flopped. His most-viewed appearances on YouTube are not viral videos extolling him or replaying his best speeches but are instead sendups of his most reckless foreign-policy improvisations — his threat to stay in Iraq for 100 years and his jokey warning (sung to the tune of the Beach Boys’ version of “Barbara Ann”) that he will bomb Iran. In the vast arena of the Internet he has been shrunk to Grumpy Old White Guy, the G.O.P. brand incarnate.

How To Decorate Your Latte February 18, 2008

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There are quite  few of these on the web, but this is one of the better ones. Thanks to Jeff Ullian

Record Breaking Winter February 18, 2008

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Kuldebreak i Vestgrønland
Minus 30 degrees Celsius. That’s how cold it’s been in large parts of western Greenland where the population has been bundling up in hats and scarves. At the same time, Denmark’s Meteorological Institute states that the ice between Canada and southwest Greenland right now has reached its greatest extent in 15 years.

‘Satellite pictures show that the ice expansion has extended farther south this year. In fact, it’s a bit past the Nuuk area. We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south. On the eastern coast it hasn’t been colder than normal, but there has been a good amount of snow.’

James Broder posts pictures on his blog (like this one) of the biggest snow in Maui in 15 years.

The Sierras and Rockies are getting record snowpack.

China just had its worst blizzard in 50 years. Even the Middle East saw snow, with Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman and northern Saudi Arabia reporting the heaviest falls in years and below-zero temperatures. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan snow and freezing weather killed 120 people.

Fgures from the respected US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that almost all the “lost” ice has come back. Ice levels which had shrunk from 13million sq km in January 2007 to just four million in October, are almost back to their original levels. Figures show that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for the time of year.

From “What’s Up with That” Blog

We’ve had anecdotal evidence of odd weather in the form of wire reports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and China where record setting cold and snow has been felt with intensity not seen for 30-100 years, depending on the region.

. RSS, UAH, and GISS global temperature sets all show sharp drops in the last year. We are in an extended solar minimum, we have a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to a cold state, and we are seeing arctic ice extents setting new records and rebounding from the summer melt.While weather is defined as such variability, the fact that so many things are in agreement on a global scale in such a short time span of one year should give us all pause for consideration.

Finally, there’s the massive La Nina said to be the driver of all this but may be a harbinger of a more permanent phase shift according to veteran forecaster Joe Bastardi.

Now to add to this, we have images and reports from NOAA and Rutgers University of large anomalies of snow cover extent for the northern hemisphere in January 2008. January 2008 had the largest areal Northern Hemisphere snow cover for the period of 1966-2008, just slightly larger than the previous largest anomaly of January, 1984.

‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star February 18, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics, Religion.
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‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star | World news | The Observer
Get ready for a new furor from the Netherlands, where census figures show that Muslims will be the majority by 2015. How will the tolerant to-a-fault Dutch react? Geert Wilders has got nothing against Muslims. He just hates Islam. Or so he says. ‘Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology,’ says Wilders, a lanky Roman Catholic right-winger, ‘the ideology of a retarded culture.’

Wilders has been immersing himself in the suras and verse of seventh-century Arabia. The outcome of his scholarship, a short film, has Holland in a panic. He is just putting the finishing touches to the 10-minute film, he says, and talking to four TV channels about screening it. The Dutch government is planning emergency evacuation of its nationals and diplomats from the Middle East should the Wilders film be shown. It is alarmed about the impact on Dutch business.

‘We already have more than 6,000 mosques in Europe, which are not only a place to worship but also a symbol of radicalisation, some financed by extreme groups in Saudi Arabia or Iran,’ argued Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Flemish separatist party, the Vlaams Belang, who organised the Antwerp get-together. ‘Its minarets are six floors high, higher than the floodlights of the Feyenoord soccer stadium,’ he said of a new mosque being built in Rotterdam. ‘These kinds of symbols have to stop.’ Horror! The secular temple, our Colosseum, where our gladiators entertain us, is being overshadowed by a rising barbaric religious invasion.

(more…)

America Loves To Be Dumber February 15, 2008

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Hand-wringing About American Culture – Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge? – New York Times
But now, Ms. Jacoby said, something different is happening: anti-intellectualism (the attitude that “too much learning can be a dangerous thing”) and anti-rationalism (“the idea that there is no such things as evidence or fact, just opinion”) have fused in a particularly insidious way.

Not only are citizens ignorant about essential scientific, civic and cultural knowledge, she said, but they also don’t think it matters.

She pointed to a 2006 National Geographic poll that found nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds don’t think it is necessary or important to know where countries in the news are located. So more than three years into the Iraq war, only 23 percent of those with some college could locate Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel on a map. (more…)

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