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Cancer Leading Cause of Death in China May 29, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China. Chinese Ministry of Health data implicate cancer in close to a quarter of all deaths countrywide. As is common with many countries as they industrialize, the usual plagues of poverty — infectious diseases and high infant mortality — have given way to diseases more often associated with affluence, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

While this might be expected in China’s richer cities, where bicycles are fast being traded in for cars and meat consumption is climbing, it also holds true in rural areas. In fact, reports from the countryside reveal a dangerous epidemic of “cancer villages” linked to pollution from some of the very industries propelling China’s explosive economy. By pursuing economic growth above all else, China is sacrificing the health of its people, ultimately risking future prosperity.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in China. Deaths from this typically fatal disease have shot up nearly fivefold since the 1970s. In China’s rapidly growing cities, like Shanghai and Beijing, where particulates in the air are often four times higher than in New York City, nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths are from lung cancer.

via Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China | Grist.

Sample of Pornography found in Ben Laden’s computer files May 29, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, In The News.
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Thanks to Mike Douso

Oil in Shale – New US Energy Source May 28, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment.
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Based on the industry’s plans, shale and other “tight rock” fields that now produce about half a million barrels of oil a day will produce up to three million barrels daily by 2020, according to IHS CERA, an energy research firm. Oil companies are investing an estimated $25 billion this year to drill 5,000 new oil wells in tight rock fields, according to Raoul LeBlanc, a senior director at PFC Energy, a consulting firm.

“This is very big and it’s coming on very fast,” said Daniel Yergin, the chairman of IHS CERA. “This is like adding another Venezuela or Kuwait by 2020, except these tight oil fields are in the United States.”

In the most developed shale field, the Bakken field in North Dakota, production has leaped to 400,000 barrels a day today from a trickle four years ago. Experts say it could produce as much as a million barrels a day by the end of the decade.

The Eagle Ford, where the first well was drilled only three years ago, is already producing more than 100,000 barrels a day and could reach 420,000 by 2015, almost as much as Ecuador, according to Bentek Energy, a consultancy.

via Oil in Shale Sets Off a Boom in Texas – NYTimes.com.

Gospel for Arnold of California–Eleventh Commandment May 27, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, In The News.
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Thou shalt not share…thy rod with thy staff.

The US$465,000 Lexus LFA Nurburgring – the most expensive Japanese car ever May 27, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Sports, Technology.
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The decade long development campaign could not possibly be amortized effectively across just 500 cars – the LFA Nurburgring is a bargain, even at this price.  To which my wife, who loves a bargain, reminded me that her Birthday was coming up soon… 

via The US$465,000 Lexus LFA Nurburgring – the most expensive Japanese car ever.

Hey – That’s My 1st Lady You’re Leering At! May 25, 2011

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Thanks to Xavier Cantenot

Somali Pirates Still Going Strong May 25, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, In The News.
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Twenty-five vessels and 560 people are currently being held for ransom by pirates. Continuing to expand their geographical reach, pirates are the maritime industry. Mixed opinions about how best to moderate the effects of piracy were revealed during a Wednesday session at the 2011 Breakbulk Europe Transportation Conference and Exhibition.

Dirk Steffen, Director of Consultancy for Risk Intelligence, outlined the extent of the problem, saying that one out of every five pirate attacks is successful.

Pirate tactics continue to evolve. For example, many have managed to extend the period of time during which they can attack, Steffen said. Until late last year most piracy attacks were linked directly to the monsoon season, but now there is a new tactic in that the Somali pirates are capturing large fishing vessels and using them as mother ships, which enables them to continue operating in monsoon-hit areas.

In another twist, the main “commodity” captured is now considered to be the crew rather than the vessel, Steffen said. In several cases vessels have been captured and later set adrift once the pirates had taken the crew prisoner. (more…)

Peak Oil? Now it’s Peak Cars May 12, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment.
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Australian and world peak car ownership per capita was in 2004 and since has shown a slow decline. It marks an end to car dependence. Teenage car ownership has dropped markedly. Figures suggest a big cultural shift as well as structural change within cities. Some very large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have made it almost impossible to buy a new car. Car transport has reached a limit. Shanghai built a metro system in 10 years, which covers 80% of the city and carries 8 million passengers each day. Metros are being built in 82 Chinese cities and 14 Indian cities. Peter Newman compares the cost of constructing roads and railways and says both cost about $50million per kilometre. But rail carries 8-20 times the passengers carried by road. With the price of gasoline heading north, people are moving back into cities and not wanting to be as dependant on cars as they were. Thanks to Carlton Palmer

via Peak oil? Now it’s peak cars – Science Show – 7 May 2011.

Of Ferrari Speeding Fines and Horrific Crashes May 9, 2011

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Driver and passenger both survived

This month’s column focuses on three related points. First, I do a lot of expert-witness work, so I’m consulted on many horrifically wrecked Ferraris, which is very sobering.

I also get emails from Ferrari Internet chat groups monitoring the relatively new trend of punitive traffic fines in Europe and Canada.

Finally, because I drive most of the modern Ferraris, I’m all too aware just how staggeringly fast today’s supercars are relative to real-world speeds.

Let’s explore each of these topics, with my goals being that I testify fewer times each month, and that we see fewer owners lose their licenses and cars through ever-more Draconian laws. (more…)

The Secret Life of Russian Prison Tattoos May 8, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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The Mark of Cain documents the fading art form and language of Russian criminal tattoos, formerly a forbidden topic in Russia. The now vanishing practice is seen as reflecting the transition of the broader Russian society. Filmed in some of Russia;s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of The Zone and The Code of Thieve.

The prisoners of the Stalinist Gulag, or “Zone,” as it is called, developed a complex social structure (documented as early as the 1920s) that incorporated highly symbolic tattooing as a mark of rank. The existence of these inmates at prisons and forced labor camps was treated by the state as a deeply-kept secret. In the 1990s, Russia’s prison population exploded, with overcrowding among the worst in the world. Some estimates suggest that in the last generation over thirty million of Russia’s inmates have had tattoos even though the process is illegal inside Russian prisons.

More of “As the World Bopps Along” May 8, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, In The News, News and politics.
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Rim Shots

There’s already been some trouble for Osama bin Laden in the afterlife.There was a mix up and he was greeted by 72 vegans.

President Obama gave the order for Navy SEALs to kill bin Laden. When President Bush heard about it, he was really upset, saying, ‘I could have used seals?

It should be pointed out that on the same night Obama was sending a SEAL team to kill Osama Bin Laden, his potential opponent in 2012, Donald Trump was busy firing Playmate of the Month Hope Dworaczyk.

I suppose I should be expressing some ambivalence about the targeted killing of another human being. And yet, in this case — uhhhh, no. I’m good with it.

Apparently there is some controversy over Bin Laden’s last words. One report said that they were: “Damn it! ‘What on earth could be interrupting ‘Celebrity Apprentice?!”

Donald Trump is going to make an announcement about running for President on the season finale of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ Not to be outdone, on the same night the Cake Boss will reveal his plan for overhauling Medicare.

But most seem to

think that his last words were probably more along the lines of what what most Somali pirates, Al Qaeda bigwigs, and other bad guys usually say when hearing that a SEAL team has come out to play.. : “Oh, crap!”

Bin Laden’s Headstone


Trump takes credit, reports being “proud of myself.”

Bin Laden and his security team are usually much more vigilant, but they were all distracted watching Royal Wedding highlights.

The Republicans will credit extension of the Bush tax cuts for the success of the mission.

Klan wizard Donald Trump and his Buffoons of Bigotry Brigade (they need a new name now that ‘Birthers’ is passe) will claim it’s a hoax and demand to see the long-form death certificate.

“I’ve never wished a man dead . . . but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure” – Mark Twain

SEAL Team Six: When you care enough to send the very best

SEAL Team Six: When you care enough to send the very best

SEAL team Six has an official motto: “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”.They also have an unofficial motto (I’m not making this up) which they refer to as WGMATTS. The acronym is for “We get more @ss than toilet seats”. Hey, what do you expect? These are hard-core, to-the-death fighters on a team so black-ops that it technically doesn’t exist. For them, on most missions, like this last one, failure is not an option. It’s either succeed or you don’t come home.So the unofficial motto is part of a darkly macho sense of humor that keeps them going.

They are the best of the best at what they do, and they fight the worst of the worst, and we’re d@mn fortunate to have them on our side. And as far as this American is concerned, lads . . . get some . . . you’ve earned it.



Queen reportedly was upset by learning that the couple have decided to have an open marriage.

Foreign Minister Says Japan Once Again Open for Business

Crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant rebranded as tourist attraction.

Iran: Ahmadinejad Rumored Stepping Down

According to publicist for “Dancing With the Stars.”

U.S. to Give Libyan Rebels $25 Million in Non-Lethal Aid

Half in tanning technology, half in acting classes.

McCain Pushing Libyan Escalation

“Roughly a half-million U.S. troops and it will be a cakewalk.”


Visitors, Banned for 20 Years, Once Again Allowed in Leaning Tower of Pisa

Catastrophic accident insurance now included in price of admission.

(from The Onion) Vatican Beatifies John Paul II As Patron Saint of Ignoring a Serious Problem Until You Die

And then being credited with performing a “miracle” for something that happened AFTER you were dead (more…)

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