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Motorcycle Powered By Poop August 26, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Lifestyle, Technology.
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Imagine speeding on a bike in the middle of nowhere, when the urge hits and you just have to go! Well, there’s a solution for that!

Japanese toilet maker TOTO rolled out a “Toilet Bike Neo” to raise awareness about bathroom emissions and water savings. The eco-friendly three-wheel 250cc motorcycle with a specially customized toilet-shaped seat runs on bio-fuel from the discharge of livestock or waste water.

TOTO has taken the bike on the road in Japan to promote its message. But wait, there’s more to it than meets the eye — this toilet on wheels talks to the rider, keeping him up to date on the latest stock prices or weather reports

via ‘Toilet Bike Neo’ goes where no john has gone before | Photos | National Post.

Video – 5 Guys Play 1 Piano August 26, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Music, Video.
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Thanks to Pianist Chris Yates for sharing

American Wins Air Guitar World Championship August 25, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Music.
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Justin “Nordic Thunder” Howard won the 17th Air Guitar World Championship in Oulu, Finland. The event drew 5,000 people to the city center to watch 18 contestants from around the world battle for the grand prize — a real guitar.

How Our 1% Compares August 25, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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It’s right out of 1880s America:

In China, less than 1% of households control more than 70% of private financial wealth.

In the US today, we’re talking somewhere between 40 and 45 percent.

Globally, says, John Bussey in the WSJ, the number is “nearly 40%,” so America’s not much off the norm.

For China to truly advance and become a genuine competitive threat, the political system has to decide to divorce wealth from political power.  Otherwise we’re looking at decay and decline and a very short “Chinese century.”

US hit that moment and launched itself into a multi-decade progressive era that cleaned up a lot of things but government most of all.

As I have said many times, the world needs a small army of Teddy Roosevelts right now – but China most of all.

via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Blog – China’s looming populist problem.

Here Kitty Kitty…Time For Din Din August 25, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor, Lifestyle.
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The four passengers at the the Werribee Open Range Zoo, in Melbourne, Australia in the jeep must feel a whisker away from death as a lion jumps up on to their hood for lunch. But that’s all part of the attraction. The jeep is a new zoo exhibit which allows visitors to get incredibly close to the lions.

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via Getting up close and personal with the lions at Werribee Open Range Zoo | Mail Online.

Dog Shaming August 23, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle.
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We supply your favorite furry friends with a healthy dose of shaming.

Click on the link for more pictures.


China’s Cash Crunch August 20, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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At first glance, that proposition seems preposterous. After all, the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, held $3.24 trillion of foreign currency reserves at the end of the first half of this year. Yet foreign currency, no matter how plentiful, has limited usefulness in a local currency crisis. In any event, the PBOC’s foreign currency holdings are almost evenly matched with renminbi-denominated liabilities that were incurred to acquire all those dollars, pounds, euros, and yen. As a result, the central bank cannot use the reserves without driving itself deep—actually, deeper—into insolvency.

When shops close to avoid predatory officials, we know China’s coffers are almost empty.  And to make matters worse, the country’s financial problems will be harder to solve now that the country’s balance of payments has turned negative.  The net outflow in the second quarter of this year was the first since 1998.  The country’s reserves also dropped in Q2.  We should not be surprised: there was perhaps $110 billion of capital flight during that period, and the gusher outflow looks like it continued in June.  Chinese citizens are losing confidence fast.

No developing country has ever escaped a major financial crisis.  The People’s Republic of China is about to have its first one now

via China Is Running Out Of Money – Forbes.

World’s Largest Train Set August 14, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Lifestyle, Video.
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Thanks Juan Marcos for showing us this multi-million dollar extravaganza, complete with cities, airports and ships.

Movie Deal for 14 year-old’s Garage Fusion Reactor August 14, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Science & Technology.
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Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he’s become one. This story about a 14 year old prodigy will be directed by Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols. Wilson gained notoriety for experimenting with nuclear materials with his parents’ approval, and achieving nuclear fusion by the age of 14.

When his grandmother became ill with cancer, Wilson also attempted to develop a cure for the disease using short-lived isotopes.

The film will reportedly contrast Wilson’s story with the similar tale of Michigan teenager David Hahn, whose attempt to build a breeder reactor in his parents’ shed achieved results that were more dangerous than desirable. Link below is to original story. Picture is of Taylor in his garage.

via The Boy Who Played With Fusion | Popular Science.

A Computer Built For Mars August 11, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Science & Technology.
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The PowerPC RAD750 chip at the heart of the Curiosity Mars rover’s central computer can withstand temperature extremes and massive doses of space radiation without the dreaded ‘blue screen of death.’

“First, you have to develop the radiation hardening techniques and actually implement them in the design,” said Scott Doyle, a BAE systems engineer for satellite electronics. “The next step is you have to qualify each of those individual components and that qualification is normally a year, a year-and-a-half, just to do that.””Then they get integrated on the board, and that board has to go through qualification activity to prove out the board. Then once that board gets integrated into the satellite at the system level, there’s several years worth of qualification testing that goes in at the satellite level. You add all that up, you’re talking five to eight years of qualification work.”

The resulting computers can cost anywhere from $200,000 to a half-million dollars. While all that might seem like overkill to an outsider, space-based computers simply have to work. “There’s no repairman in space,” Doyle said.

But given the unavoidable limitations in processing speed and memory, Curiosity’s programmers face a daunting task when it comes to writing software. “What’s hard about this, my phone has a processor that’s 10 times as fast as the processor that’s on Curiosity and it has 16 times as much storage as Curiosity has and my phone doesn’t have to land anything on Mars,” Cichy said. “All my phone has to do is follow (a friend’s) Twitter feed.”

via Slow, but rugged, Curiosity’s computer was built for Mars | Cutting Edge – CNET News.

Travel Trailers – Cutest to Most Outrageous. August 11, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Lifestyle.
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From the cutest to a video of the most over-the-top Travel Trailer – Vin Diesel’s $1.2M behemoth.



The Empire Strikes Back August 11, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics.
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Yale Prof. Charles Hill sees two very different kinds of challenges to the liberal, state-based world order. One, the aggressive kind, is exemplified by China. The other, very different, can be seen in the European Union.

“The way the world through almost all of history has been ordered is through empires. The empire was the normal unit of rule. So it was the Chinese empire, the Mughal empire, the Persian empire, and the Roman empire, the Mayan empire.”

What changed this was the Thirty Years War in Europe in the 17th century. “That was a war between the Holy Roman Empire and states, and states were new. They had come forward in northern Italy in the Renaissance and now they were taking hold in what we think of as a state-sized entity. The Netherlands and Sweden and France were among these. . . . France was both an empire and a state—and the key was when [Cardinal] Richelieu took France to the side of the states, which was shocking because France was Catholic and the empire was Catholic and the states were Protestant.”

“My view is that every major modern war has been waged against this international system. That is, the empire strikes back. World War I is a war of empires which comes to its culmination point when a state gets into it. That’s the United States.” And then we get something very interesting added: “That’s Woodrow Wilson and [the promotion of] democracy.”

“World War II, and I think this is uncomprehended although it’s perfectly clear, . . . World War II is a war of empires against the state system. It’s Hitler’s Third Reich. It’s Imperial Japan.” The Axis goal “is to establish an empire. The Nazi empire would be Europe going eastward into the Slavic lands. The Japanese empire in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, as they called it.”

via The Weekend Interview with Charles Hill: The Empire Strikes Back – WSJ.com. (more…)

XP Hasn’t Aged Well August 8, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor, Technology.
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Instantly recognizable to most as the default wallpaper in Windows XP. May be the most viewed photograph in history.

Shot by Charles O’Rear on a medium format camera in 1996 and not digitally enhanced or manipulated in any way. The approximate location is 3101 Fremont Dr. in Sonoma, coordinates 38.250124,-122.410817.

In November 2006, Goldin+Senneby took the same picture, titling the piece After Microsoft:

via Photographs: What are the most viewed photos of all time? – Quora.

Bird Flu Blamed for Seal Deaths August 7, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, health, In The News.
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First there was swine flu. Now, while everyone’s attention is on another  Ebola outbreak there may be seal flu.

In the wake of a pneumonia outbreak that killed 162 harbor seals in New England last year, researchers are blaming the deaths on an avian flu virus.

The virus is similar to one circulating in North American birds since 2002 but shows signs of having recently adapted to mammals, according to according to Ian Lipkin, MD, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City and colleagues.

The outbreak is “particularly significant,” they wrote, because the virus has naturally acquired mutations that may make it a candidate to cause disease in humans.

via Medical News: Bird Flu Blamed for Seal Deaths – in Infectious Disease, Flu & URI from MedPage Today.

Return of the disparaged “Limits to Growth” Prediction August 4, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics.
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Carlton Palmer shares this gem with these comments:

Thoughtful, analysis and personal take from a Financial realist .  Civilized not a Rant! Long, Worth the effort. Ex Pat Brit.Jeremy Granthams take on the ongoing food crisis  plus the Game changer implications for the Human condition. Of note “the ethanol/gas” idiocy.

Click on the link to download the .pdf file and take the time to read this 22 page analysis

Ex Pat Brit. Jeremy Granthams take on the ongoing food crisis

What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? August 1, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Humor, Life, Lifestyle.
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This American Life, talking to refugees who’d moved to the U.S., mostly from conflict zones, found that the foreigners were shocked by a number of things that Americans might consider routine: public displays of affection, high obesity rates, families shipping their elderly parents off to nursing homes, dog-owners kissing their pets,Christmas lights and widespread gun ownership.

The U.S. can be such a jarringly strange place for many foreign visitors that travel guidebooks detail everything from the dangers of talking politics to tips on respecting Americans’ famously guarded personal space. But what do those visitors find when they actually get here? This American Life spoke to a relatively narrow slice of foreign arrivals, but a thread on public question site Quora, jumping off from the radio segment, asks web users from around the globe to chime in with what surprised them about America. Click on the link.

How Americans Are Different: What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? – Quora.

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