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Mississippi most religious, Vermont least January 31, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Religion.
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A new Gallup Poll, based on more than 350,000 interviews, finds that the Magnolia State is the one where the most people — 85% — say yes when asked “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”

Joining Mississippi in the top “most religious” states are other notches in the Bible Belt: Alabama (82%), South Carolina (80%), Tennessee (79%), Louisiana (78%), and Arkansas (78%).

New England predominates in the top “least religious” states: Following Vermont are New Hampshire (46%), Maine (48%), Massachusetts (48%), Alaska (51%) and Washington (52%)

via Mississippi most religious, Vermont least, survey says – USATODAY.com.

Proof That Black Holes Exist January 30, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Video.
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Thanks to Jeff Ullian

Obama Inauguration Mega Hi-Def Photo January 30, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos.
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obama-inaugurationThis picture was taken with a robotic camera and weighs in at 1,474 megapixel. (295 times the standard 5 megapixel camera)

It was a Canon that pulled together over 200 individual shots.

Each zoom in takes a second to focus …and then you can see some amazing reactions.

Bonus points if you find Yo-Yo Ma …. taking a picture with his iPhone.

Fullscreen Gigapan Viewer.

British Banks Were Just 3 Hours From Failing January 28, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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Narrow escape: The Bank of England was forced to contact RBS’s creditors abroad to persuade them not to withdraw their funds. Britain was just three hours away from going bust last year after a secret run on the banks, one of Gordon Brown’s Ministers has revealed.

City Minister Paul Myners disclosed that on Friday, October 10, the country was ‘very close’ to a complete banking collapse after ‘major depositors’ attempted to withdraw their money en masse.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that the Treasury was preparing for the banks to shut their doors to all customers, terminate electronic transfers and even block hole-in-the-wall cash withdrawals. Only frantic behind-the-scenes efforts averted financial meltdown

via Revealed: The day the banks were just three hours from collapse | Mail Online.

Chávez In Economic Squeeze January 28, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Despite his talk of “endogenous development” and economic diversification, Venezuela is more dependent on oil now than it was when Mr Chávez took power. Oil brought in 92% of export revenues in the first nine months of 2008, compared with 64% in 1998. The 2009 budget, which foresees public spending of $78 billion, assumes an average oil price of $60 a barrel (and economic growth of 6%). Venezuelan crude, much of which is heavy (meaning viscous), currently sells for around half that figure. The budget also assumes that Venezuela produces 3.4m barrels of oil per day. Independent sources, including OPEC, say output is about 1m barrels less.

via The problems of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez | Socialism with cheap oil | The Economist.

Obama’s Threat To Castro January 27, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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After all, Cuba has precious little to boast about (see article). It is the only country in the Americas that locks citizens up for their beliefs. In a place that before 1959 boasted as many cattle as people, meat is such a scarce luxury that it is a crime to kill and eat a cow. Even the health and education systems, which once put those of many capitalist countries to shame, are now suffering decline. Then there is Fidel’s claim, earlier this year, that while Cuba has enshrined racial equality, America is irredeemably racist and would never accept a black man as president.

All this means that for the Castros, Barack Obama may turn into a far more formidable foe than his predecessors. The danger starts with his example: after all, a young, black, progressive politician has no chance of reaching the highest office in Cuba, although a majority of the island’s people are black.

via Cuba 50 years on | Time for a (long overdue) change | The Economist.

Entropa – Can Europe Laugh At Itself? January 24, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Humor.
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Judging from the controversy this sculpture has suffered, not too well.

Entropa – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Charles Krauthammer – The Obama Inaugural: Hail Washington — Not Lincoln January 24, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in News and politics.
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This from one of the “Conservative” voices that Obama dined with at George Will’s house just before the Inauguration Speech reviewed below. Fascinating speech. It was so rhetorically flat, so lacking in rhythm and cadence, one almost has to believe he did it on purpose. Best not to dazzle on Opening Day. Otherwise, they’ll expect magic all the time.

The most striking characteristic of Barack Obama is not his nimble mind, engaging manner or wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. It’s the absence of neediness. He’s Bill Clinton, master politician, but without the hunger.

Clinton craves your adulation (the source of all his troubles). Obama will take it, but he can leave it, too. He is astonishingly self-contained. He gives what he must to advance his goals, his programs, his ambitions. But no more. He has no need to.

via Charles Krauthammer – The Obama Inaugural: Hail Washington — Not Lincoln.

What’s In A Name? January 23, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor.
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In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

via No Snickering – That Road Sign Means Something Else – NYTimes.com.

Bury Carbon To Save Mankind From Mass Deaths January 23, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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James Lovelock, the 90 year-old Scientist & originator of theoriginator of the Gaia theory, which describes Earth as a self-regulating planet. The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms. What we can do is cheat those consumers by getting farmers to burn their crop waste at very low oxygen levels to turn it into charcoal, which the farmer then ploughs into the field. A little CO2 is released but the bulk of it gets converted to carbon. You get a few per cent of biofuel as a by-product of the combustion process, which the farmer can sell. This scheme would need no subsidy: the farmer would make a profit. This is the one thing we can do that will make a difference, but I bet they won’t do it.

Do you think we will survive?

I’m an optimistic pessimist. I think it’s wrong to assume we’ll survive 2 °C of warming: there are already too many people on Earth. At 4 °C we could not survive with even one-tenth of our current population. The reason is we would not find enough food, unless we synthesised it. Because of this, the cull during this century is going to be huge, up to 90 per cent. The number of people remaining at the end of the century will probably be a billion or less. It has happened before: between the ice ages there were bottlenecks when there were only 2000 people left. It’s happening again.

I don’t think humans react fast enough or are clever enough to handle what’s coming up. Kyoto was 11 years ago. Virtually nothing’s been done except endless talk and meetings.

via One last chance to save mankind – environment – 22 January 2009 – New Scientist. (more…)

Big Waves, Tough Beach January 23, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Sports.
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As surfing has become increasingly popular, some say fear of violent reprisal ensures order and safety at congested and perilous surf spots like Pipeline.

“It’s a dangerous environment, and without a self-governing control pattern it would just be chaos out there,” Rarick said.

At Pipeline, large, punishing waves break over a shallow-water reef. With a small takeoff zone comes a small window of time to make critical decisions and dozens of surfers vying for the same waves. Pipeline is considered one of the world’s most dangerous surf spots.

via On North Shore of Oahu, Enforcing Respect for Locals and the Waves – NYTimes.com.

‘Chippers’ Challenge Concepts Of Smoking Addiction January 22, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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The number of cigarettes a person smokes in a day or a week is no indication of how difficult it will be for them to quit smoking. If you want to kick the habit and can’t, that’s a sure sign for Difranza that you are addicted to nicotine.

MRIs of the brains of smokers show that nicotine activates billions of receptors, releasing chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and dozens of other chemicals that fire up other nerves, creating a cascading effect.

That is why Difranza thinks that true nonaddicted smokers make up a fraction of people who smoke — about 5 percent. The brain is changed by nicotine, he says, and harbors memories of the smoking experience.

via ‘Chippers’ Challenge Concepts Of Smoking Addiction : NPR.

Obama Staff Arrives to White House Stuck in Dark Ages of Technology January 22, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Science & Technology.
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Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts.

via Obama Staff Arrives to White House Stuck in Dark Ages of Technology – washingtonpost.com.

Freed Megayacht Moving Again January 22, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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S/Y Legacy, apparently not wanting to leave Key West thanks to a stubborn keel that slipped and was troublesome to raise, was finally persuaded to lift her 40-ton appendage to a workable height. More about  the history of Legacy

via The Triton – News for the megayacht and superyacht industry – Her keel lifted, S/Y Legacy gets ready to make a move.

Birds That Hit Plane Photo Released January 22, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor.
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Thanks to Pilot Chad Brisbane

Thanks to Pilot Chad Brisbane


The Keys To The Palace Are Under The Mat January 20, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor.
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Hey – it’s a brand spanking new White House website | csmonitor.com.

Why Saying No to Foods May Be Harder for Women January 20, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Food, Lifestyle.
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TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) — New research on the brain suggests that women unconsciously have a tougher time resisting their favorite foods than men do.

“This gives us another piece to put into this puzzle,” said Dr. Gene-Jack Wang, the study’s author, who speculated that women may have more trouble saying no to food because they sometimes have to eat for two.

via Why Saying No to Foods May Be Harder for Women – washingtonpost.com.

The End of White America? January 18, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.

The Election of Barack Obama is just the most startling manifestation of a larger trend: the gradual erosion of “whiteness” as the touchstone of what it means to be American. If the end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability, what will the new mainstream look like—and how will white Americans fit into it? What will it mean to be white when whiteness is no longer the norm? And will a post-white America be less racially divided—or more so?

via The End of White America? – The Atlantic (January/February 2009).

Evidence We Are Living In A “Matrix” Hologram January 17, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Science & Technology.
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The movie :the Matrix” may be onto something. The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard ‘t Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.

via Our world may be a giant hologram – space – 15 January 2009 – New Scientist. (more…)

Arabs lost 2.5 trillion dollars from credit crunch: Kuwait January 17, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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So much for the fear of the growing strength of the Sovereign Wealth Funds. All those petro dollars gone, like so-much car exhaust. Arab investors have lost 2.5 trillion dollars from the credit crunch, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah, whose country hosts an Arab economic summit next week, said on Friday.

The biggest loss was an estimated 40 percent drop in the value of Arab investments abroad, which previously totalled around 2.5 trillion dollars.

Falls on stock markets contributed more than 600 billion dollars to the losses, while Arab investors were further affected by a sharp decline in oil revenues, the declining value of property investments and other repercussions of the global downturn.

via Arabs lost 2.5 trillion dollars from credit crunch: Kuwait.

Sharking Discovery January 15, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,

With all the talk among Paleontologists that dinosaurs may have evolved from birds, now there is photographic evidence of their importance in the development of Sharks. Thanks to Shark Researcher Adam Brown for this rare finding.


Subprime Mortgage Fraud Classic January 15, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Humor, philosophy & politics.
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Marvene Halterman of Avondale, Ariz. At age 61, after 13 years of uninterrupted unemployment and at least as many years of living on welfare, she got a mortgage.

She got that mortgage less than two years ago. She got it even though at one time she had 23 people living in the house (576 square feet, one bath) and some ramshackle outbuildings. She got it for $103,000, an amount that far exceeded the value of the house. The place has since been condemned. (Click on link below for the story)

Marvene’s Subprime Mo

rtgage Fraud.

Be Glad You’re Not an Ant – No Sex January 15, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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To the long list of reasons you should be glad you’re not an ant, add this: You’d have to forget about having sex. You’d also have to forget about even trying. Sneak off for a little insectile assignation and the other members of the colony would know immediately — and attack you for it. Entomologists have long known this was the practice in the ant world, but what they didn’t know is the forensic science that allows the community to uncover the crime. Now, thanks to a study in the current issue of Cell Biology, they do.

via First Rule of the Ant Colony: No Hanky-Panky – TIME.

U.S. military report warns Mexico may fail January 15, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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The U.S. Joint Forces Command’s “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”

via U.S. military report warns ‘sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible – El Paso Times.

British Historian Defends Bush’s Legacy January 15, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush’s legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

via History will show that George W Bush was right – Telegraph.

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