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Why Generation Y April 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle.
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Generations are grouped as follows:

The Silent generation, people born before 1945.
The Baby Boomers, people born between 1945 and 1961.
Generation X, people born between 1962 and 1986.
Generation Y, people born between 1987 and 2008.

For the last one, one can ask why Y?…
A caricaturist explains it eloquently below…

Dumb as We Wanna Be April 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Politics.
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Dumb as We Wanna Be – New York Times
Energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: “Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most.”

Why Did The Industrial Revolution Sart In England? April 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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Review – A Farewell to Alms – Industrial Revolution – Human Population – New York Times
The basis of Dr. Clark’s work is his recovery of data from which he can reconstruct many features of the English economy from 1200 to 1800. From this data, he shows, far more clearly than has been possible before, that the economy was locked in a Malthusian trap — each time new technology increased the efficiency of production a little, the population grew, the extra mouths ate up the surplus, and average income fell back to its former level.

This income was pitifully low in terms of the amount of wheat it could buy. By 1790, the average person’s consumption in England was still just 2,322 calories a day, with the poor eating a mere 1,508. Living hunter-gatherer societies enjoy diets of 2,300 calories or more.

“Primitive man ate well compared with one of the richest societies in the world in 1800,” Dr. Clark observes. (more…)

Instant Messaging Eating Into SMS Text Messaging April 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Techdirt: Instant Messaging Eating Into SMS Text Messaging
The old “accepted wisdom” was that folks in Europe communicated via SMS text messaging, while folks in the US were mainly doing internet-based instant messaging. There were a variety of reasons for why things developed this way, but it was a generally accurate statement for a while.

However, even early on, some of us began wondering what would happen as the two worlds started to merge. That is, as mobile phones became more powerful and acted more like handheld computers, wouldn’t users start to realize that instant messaging would save them a lot of money in terms of data costs. Especially with advanced phones like the iPhone, it seemed inevitable that “expensive” SMS would start to run into trouble.

And, in fact, that appears to be happening. A new study in the UK (where SMS text messaging is huge) has shown that, as people start using instant messaging applications, their use of SMS text messaging drops significantly. The one exception, by the way, is with older users, who are comfortable enough with SMS and don’t seem as interested in using IM on their phones. Either way, this has to be a concern for mobile operators who have a tendency to assume that high-priced services will always remain high-priced and in high demand.

Penis theft panic hits city.. April 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle.
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Penis theft panic hits city.. | U.S. | Reuters
Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo’s sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released. (more…)

Technological Breakthrough In Fight To Cut Greenhouse Gases April 26, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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Technological Breakthrough In Fight To Cut Greenhouse Gases
Scientists at Newcastle University have pioneered breakthrough technology in the fight to cut greenhouse gases. The Newcastle University team, led by Michael North, Professor of Organic Chemistry, has developed a highly energy-efficient method of converting waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into chemical compounds known as cyclic carbonates. (more…)

It’s Your Shoes Stupid! April 24, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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You Walk Wrong
Shoes are bad. I don’t just mean stiletto heels, or cowboy boots, or tottering espadrilles, or any of the other fairly obvious foot-torture devices into which we wincingly jam our feet. I mean all shoes. Shoes hurt your feet. They change how you walk. In fact, your feet—your poor, tender, abused, ignored, maligned, misunderstood feet—are getting trounced in a war that’s been raging for roughly a thousand years: the battle of shoes versus feet.

One of the lead researchers, Dr. Bernhard Zipfel, when commenting on his findings, lamented that the American Podiatric Medical Association does not “actively encourage outdoor barefoot walking for healthy individuals. This flies in the face of the increasing scientific evidence, including our study, that most of the commercially available footwear is not good for the feet.”

And NPR steps into this issue

Beautiful Pictures of Our Planet April 22, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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Happy Earth Day: Beautiful Pictures of Our Planet | Wired Science from Wired.com
Click on the link from Wired to see the satellite pictures of Earth. If you click on the actual pictures, you will find that they are high-resolution links from the original pages are truly high-resolution. Perfect for large computer screens or prints. And please feel free to share links to your own favorite satellite images!

Economist: Housing slump may exceed Depression April 22, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Economist: Housing slump may exceed Depression
Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller home price index, said theres a good chance housing prices will fall further than the 30 percent drop in the historic depression of the 1930s. Home prices nationwide already have dropped 15 percent since their peak in 2006, he said.

“I think there is a scenario that they could be down substantially more,” Shiller said during a speech at the New Haven Lawn Club.

Shiller’s Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index is considered a strong measure of home prices because it examines price changes of the same property over time, instead of calculating a median price of homes sold during the month. (more…)

Expelled Exposed April 21, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Science & Technology.
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Expelled Exposed

Well it sounds like the Right has their own docu-propagandist, in the best Michael Moore tradition.
Welcome to Expelled Exposed, a detailed look at the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We’ll show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.

To learn why the claims made in Expelled are false, find out The Truth behind the Fiction. For information on the producers and their actions, go Behind the Scenes. To learn more about evolution and intelligent design, or to see what other people thought of Expelled, view our links to other online Resources.

Brazil Gusher Bombshell April 19, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Business.
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In Brazil, Another Gusher
If confirmed, a 33-billion-barrels find would trail just two larger oil reservoirs, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Those fields were each discovered more than 60 years ago, but together still account for nearly 8% of global oil output. With a single field, Brazil could potentially top all the proved reserves in the United States, estimated at 29.9 billion barrels, according to BP’s 2007 Statistical Review of World Energy. Mexico’s 35-billion-barrel Cantarell field, discovered in 1976, was largely responsible for that country becoming the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.

“Carioca would be the third-largest oil field in the world,” said Haroldo Lima, director of ANP, at an energy seminar Monday.

Food The silent tsunami April 19, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Food, Geopolitics.
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Food | The silent tsunami | Economist.com
A wave of food-price inflation is moving through the world, leaving riots and shaken governments in its wake. For the first time in 30 years, food protests are erupting in many places at once. Bangladesh is in turmoil (see article); even China is worried (see article).

Famine traditionally means mass starvation. The measures of today’s crisis are misery and malnutrition. The middle classes in poor countries are giving up health care and cutting out meat so they can eat three meals a day. The middling poor, those on $2 a day, are pulling children from school and cutting back on vegetables so they can still afford rice. Those on $1 a day are cutting back on meat, vegetables and one or two meals, so they can afford one bowl. The desperate—those on 50 cents a day—face disaster.

Roughly a billion people live on $1 a day. If, on a conservative estimate, the cost of their food rises 20% (and in some places, it has risen a lot more), 100m people could be forced back to this level, the common measure of absolute poverty. In some countries, that would undo all the gains in poverty reduction they have made during the past decade of growth. Because food markets are in turmoil, civil strife is growing; and because trade and openness itself could be undermined, the food crisis of 2008 may become a challenge to globalisation.

Polar Bear Plays With Potential Dinner April 19, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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This amazing slide show were taken from a Speaking of Faith audio and slide show by Dr. Stuart Brown, an expert on animal and human play and founder of the National Institute for Play. The photographs, along with more detailed information, are also published on the Institute’s website with the title Why Didn’t the Wild Polar Bear eat the Husky? Thanks to John Brittain

Insight Into Obama’s Dad Surfaces April 15, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Politics.
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Long-lost article by Obama’s dad surfaces – Ben Smith and Jeffrey Ressner – Politico.com

Now, a long-forgotten essay written 43 years ago by Obama’s father has surfaced, and its contents reveal much not only about the senior Obama’s grasp of economic theory but also the iconoclastic politics that, his son would later write, sent him into the spiral of career disappointment that concluded with his death in 1982 in his native Kenya.

Parts of the article, titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” have been making the rounds on several small blogs over the past week, but Politico is now reproducing the entire piece in its original form online for the first time.

Don’t Blame Trade April 15, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Politics.
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A Speech About Nothing – New York Times
Barack Obama delivered a speech in Pittsburgh on Monday on the economic stresses facing American workers. In the speech, he devoted one clause in one sentence to the single biggest factor affecting the workplace: technological change. He then devoted 45 sentences to one of the least important: trade deals.

Economists differ over how much outsourcing will change the American job market in the future, but there is little evidence that trade has been a major cause of job loss or even wage stagnation so far. As Robert Z. Lawrence of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in a recent study: “The recent increase in U.S. inequality … has little to do with global forces that might especially affect unskilled workers — namely, immigration and expanded trade with developing countries.”

And yet all Democratic domestic policy discussions have to start with trade and, in 99.9 percent of the cases, end with trade. (more…)

Obama Bashed For Telling It Like It Is April 14, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Politics.
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Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog
As soon as I think Obama’s pandering too much on economics, he says something this blunt and wise. Of course people get nasty and scared and cling to old shibboleths when they’re feeling vulnerable on economics! That’s the entire history of our country. Read Benjamin Friedman’s brilliant Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.

How either McCain or Clinton try to pass this off as “elitism” is just goofy. Obama’s problem is that he’s a lot more honest than either of them. He sees the world more accurately, and when he speaks truth in that direction, he gets chastised by the Boomers with their quintessential ideological view of things.

Yes, we need to connect to middle class ideology again, just like around 1880-1910. But this time it’s a global middle class ideology, so trade protectionism isn’t the answer, unless you’re looking to resurrect fascism again, which I’m sure would seem familiar enough to McCain, given his age, but for the Millennials, that stuff is ancient history. We’ve got to connect to this rising global middle class. That’s where the ideological struggle of the future lies.

Potatoes To Feed The World April 14, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Geopolitics.
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As other staples soar, potatoes break new ground | Reuters
Even though the potato emerged in Peru 8,000 years ago near Lake Titicaca, Peruvians eat fewer potatoes than people in Europe: Belarus leads the world in potato consumption, with each inhabitant of the eastern European state devouring an average of 376 pounds (171 kg) a year.

India has told food experts it wants to double potato production in the next five to 10 years. China, a huge rice consumer that historically has suffered devastating famines, has become the world’s top potato grower. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the potato is expanding more than any other crop right now.

Potatoes, which are native to Peru, can be grown at almost any elevation or climate: from the barren, frigid slopes of the Andes Mountains to the tropical flatlands of Asia. They require very little water, mature in as little as 50 days, and can yield between two and four times more food per hectare than wheat or rice.

No Warming Yet This Century April 6, 2008

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The REAL inconvenient truth: Zealotry over global warming could damage our Earth far more than climate change | the Daily Mail
The truth is that there has so far been no recorded global warming at all this century.

The world’s temperature rose about half a degree centigrade during the last quarter of the 20th century; but even the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research – part of Britain’s Met Office and a citadel of the current global warming orthodoxy – has now conceded that recorded temperature figures for the first seven years of the 21st century reveal there has been a standstill.

The centre now officially expects global warming to resume at some point between 2009 and 2014.

Maybe it will. But the fact that the present lull was not predicted by any of the complex computer models upon which the global warming orthodoxy relies is clear evidence that the science of what determines the world’s temperature is distinctly uncertain and far from “settled”.

Lennon’s Unfinished 3rd Song Mashup April 6, 2008

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The unfinished third song by John Lennon made into a fan’s mashup.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from vids.myspace.com

“5th Beatle” Dies April 6, 2008

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Neil Aspinall | Economist.com
Yet there seemed to be not one jealous bone in Neil Aspinall’s body; which was why, for almost half a century, he was factotum, doorkeeper and man-of-all-work for four friends who became, in the words of Philip Norman, their biographer, “the greatest engine for human happiness the modern world has known”. From driving the battered old Commer, with hard benches back and front and his charges sleeping among the amps, he progressed to a tour bus and then to a chauffeured limousine with blacked-out windows, forcing its way through crowds of weeping teenage girls. From fetching everyone’s fish and chips, slathered with vinegar not ketchup, he moved up to more particular orders: a one-egg omelette for Ringo, cheese-and-cucumber sandwiches for George, and for John caviar and chocolate cake. In time, as chief executive of the Beatles’ company, Apple Corps, he acquired a chef and a dining room at his office in Savile Row. (more…)

Overloaded Internet April 6, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Technology.
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Video boom threatens to gridlock the internet | Technology | The Observer
Information meltdown

· Electricity reached one quarter of Americans 46 years after its introduction. Telephones took 35 years and televisions 26 years. In just six years, broadband reached 25 per cent penetration.

· It took two centuries to fill the shelves of the Library of Congress with more than 57 million manuscripts, 29 million books and periodicals, 12 million photographs, and more. Now, the world generates an equivalent amount of digital information nearly 100 times each day.
Internet Innovation Alliance (more…)

Compare Dog & Cat Diaries April 6, 2008

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Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary.

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing! (more…)

Homeless & Horny April 6, 2008

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The top 10 myths of jury trials April 6, 2008

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SPEAKOUT: Debunking the top 10 myths of jury trials : rockymountainnews.com
Interesting points on Justice in America from a top Trail Consultant, #2 caught my eye. Click more to see all of them. 2. Innocence will protect you in a criminal trial.

Regrettably, this is usually not the case. Specifically, for anyone who faces a jury, there is roughly an 85 percent chance that the trial will end up with a conviction. Tim Masters just might have something to say on this subject. Studies indicate that from 7 percent to 10 percent of those in prison today are actually innocent persons who got caught in this process. (more…)

Five Myths About Drinking Water April 3, 2008

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Five Myths About Drinking Water : NPR
Myth No. 1: Drink Eight Glasses Each Day

Scientists say there’s no clear health benefit to chugging or even sipping water all day. So where does the standard advice of drinking eight glasses each day come from? “Nobody really knows,” says Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a kidney expert at the University of Pennsylvania. (more…)

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