‘The National Library of France (BnF) has an amazing collection of prints from 1910 which depict life in the year 2000. They are credited to Villemard.
There’s speculation that they were included with “foodstuffs” of the era [..]’
‘The long and short of it is that by next spring some of the 20 U.S. combat brigades currently in Iraq—perhaps as many as a quarter to a half of them—will be pulling out, and nobody will replace them. This is a mathematical fact, quite apart from anything to do with the upcoming election or the war’s diminishing popularity.
Whether or not you regard this fact as lamentable, President Bush only makes things worse by howling that any pullback would erode American power and embolden the terrorists. Even if his warning is true, for a president to state it so urgently, over and over and over and over, deepens the damage when the storm hits. And given that the storm is certain to hit, it’s irresponsible—it’s baffling—that he’s howling so loudly.’
‘”Have you ever been through the Denver airport? It’s strange. It’s one of the busiest, but I’m telling you, it’s weird. There’s a firestorm of people talking about this thing.”
Especially on June 11, when George Noory devotes all four hours of Coast to Coast, his nationally syndicated talk-radio program dedicated to the “paranormal, extraterrestrial and other topics typically overlooked by more mainstream media outlets,” to a discussion of Denver International Airport. Broadcast on more than 500 affiliate stations, including KHOW, the popular overnight show is the 60 Minutes of conspiracy theories, often with self-educated experts expounding on such subjects as the occult, psychic visions, crop circles, Skull and Bones and apocalyptic predictions. And almost all of these conspiracies intersect at DIA.’
‘The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.’
‘Without us on the earth, what traces of us would linger? What would disappear?’
‘Remember the mammoths, say the clean-cut organisers at the youth camp’s mass wedding. “They became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia”.
Obediently, couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.
With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult.
But this organisation – known as “Nashi”, meaning “Ours” – is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life.’
‘New research indicates that hacking the atmosphere — pumping microscopic particles into the stratosphere or clouds to block sunlight and offset global warming caused by greenhouse gases — is imminently possible. The problem is we could never, ever stop doing it.
Climate scientists Damon Matthews of Concordia University and Ken Caldeira of Stanford ran the numbers on atmospheric geo-engineering through a climate simulation and found that while cranking out carbon dioxide at business-as-usual rates we can geo-engineer our way back toward pre-industrial temperatures in short order, reaching 1900 levels in about five years. Not only that, it would be fairly cheap and easy to do.
Pumping 20 to 25 liters of aerosols per second to keep enough particles in the stratosphere would cool temperatures, causing the planet’s carbon sinks to suck more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
“That kind of flow rate can be handled by a single fire hose,” said Caldeira. “For something like $100 million a year you could probably keep a hose in the stratosphere suspended by an array of balloons with pumps along the way.”
The problem is what happens if we stop short or screw it up.’
‘To take part in its annual exercises with the United States Air Force here last month, Japan practiced dropping 500-pound live bombs on Farallon de Medinilla, a tiny island in the western Pacific’s turquoise waters more than 150 miles north of here.
The pilots described dropping a live bomb for the first time — shouting “shack!” to signal a direct hit — and seeing the fireball from aloft.
“The level of tension was just different,” said Capt. Tetsuya Nagata, 35, stepping down from his cockpit onto the sunbaked tarmac.
The exercise would have been unremarkable for almost any other military, but it was highly significant for Japan, a country still restrained by a Constitution that renounces war and allows forces only for its defense. Dropping live bombs on land had long been considered too offensive, so much so that Japan does not have a single live-bombing range.’
‘Continued leaps in agricultural technology ensured more production per acre. The result was likewise predictable: the same old food surpluses and low prices. My late parents, who owned the farm I now live on in central California, used to sigh that the planet was reaching 6 billion mouths and so things someday “would have to turn around for farmers.”
Now they apparently have. Food prices are climbing at rates approaching 10 percent per year. But why the sudden change?
There have been a number of relatively recent radical changes in the United States and the world that, taken together, provide the answer [..]’
‘New research shows that Australian children are becoming more anxious about themselves and the future of the planet.
The Australian Childhood Foundation survey of 600 children shows that more than half are scared there will not be enough water in the future.
The report also showed that more than a third of children were anxious about terrorism, were worried that one day they will have to fight in a war, and one in four believed the world will end before they reached adulthood.
The head of the foundation, Dr Joe Tucci, says this insecurity could have consequences for society.’
‘The way Hollywood tells the story, if you step through a laser beam then you should expect and alarm to go off and everybody laughs or something. But the way the defense company Ionatron tells the story, if you step through a laser beam things are a lot worse than some bells ringing in your ears.
That’s because this laser is really a laser-induced plasma channel (LIPC) that can conduct electricity. You break the stream and—ZAP—you wake up behind bars to the smell of burnt hair and another man’s aftershave. And that’s what we are calling a best case scenario.
For those interested in purchasing units for home use, remember that all the really cool technology is controlled by the US government…and to stay clear of their buildings after 5pm.’
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see it here »
‘The US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear-style head to help carry injured soldiers away from the battlefield.
The Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot (BEAR) can scoop up even the heaviest of casualties and transport them over long distances over rough terrain.
New Scientist magazine reports that the “friendly appearance” of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease. [..]
While the existing prototype slides its arms under its burden like a forklift, future versions will be fitted with manoeuvrable hands to gently scoop up casualties.
The Bear is controlled remotely and has cameras and microphones through which an operator sees and hears.’
Careful preparation has served me well. I’ve overcome many obstacles to get where I am. A new relationship is just around the corner.
‘A major advance in understanding the genetics behind several of the world’s most common diseases has been reported.
The landmark Wellcome Trust study analysed DNA from the blood of 17,000 people to find genetic differences.
They found new genetic variants for depression, Crohn’s disease, coronary heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 and 2 diabetes.
The remarkable findings, published in Nature, have been hailed as a new chapter in medical science.
It is hoped they will pave the way for research into new treatments and genetic tests.’
‘New ways of turning heat into sound waves – and then into electricity – may be the next step toward a practical new source of alternative energy.
Scientists have known for decades that they can turn heat into sound using simple devices called acoustic heat engines. But this week a team of University of Utah researchers plan to show they’ve succeeded in miniaturising and optimising the devices, which then turn the sound into usable electricity.
If true, the advance could open the door to super-efficient power plants, cars, and computers, as well as a new generation of solar cells.
Acoustic heat engines usually use a copper plate to conduct heat to a high-surface-area material like glass wool, which then heats the surrounding air. The movement of the hot air generates a single frequency sound wave, rather like a flute. And this in turns vibrates a piezoelectric electrode, producing voltage.’
‘Nuclear power stations will be banned in Western Australia by legislation aimed at thwarting the prime minister’s nuclear push, Premier Alan Carpenter says.
Mr Carpenter announced the new legislation at the WA Labor Party state conference.
The legislation will prohibit the construction or operation of a nuclear facility, the transportation of certain material to a nuclear facility site and the connection of nuclear generation works to electricity transmission or distribution systems.
Mr Carpenter said new technology was the answer to climate change challenges not nuclear power.’
‘China unveiled its first national program aimed at combating global warming on Monday, but it’s modest in scope and offers few firm targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The 62-page report said China is taking steps toward improving energy efficiency over 2005 levels by as much as 20 per cent by the year 2010. It said a top priority was to tackle China’s own environmental problems.
China’s top economic planner said the country will not submit to any outside targets and won’t let its industrial development be hampered by any fight in the West against global warming.
“The consequences of restricting the development of developing nations will be much more serious than the consequences of global warming,” said Ma Kai, the minister heading the National Development and Reform Commission.’
‘President George W. Bush would like to see a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq like the one in South Korea to provide stability but not in a frontline combat role, the White House said on Wednesday.
The United States has had thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea to guard against a North Korean invasion for 50 years.
Democrats in control of the U.S. Congress have been pressing Bush to agree to a timetable for pulling troops from Iraq, an idea firmly opposed by the president.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush would like to see a U.S. role in Iraq ultimately similar to that in South Korea in which “you get to a point in the future where you want it to be a purely support model.”‘
‘The Bush administration. You know ’em, you… well, love isn’t exactly the right emotion.
Showing that there is no place safe from idiocy, here’s an absolutely astronomically stupid comment from NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. A statement so stupid, it makes the invasion of Iraq and the management of Katrina look like genius.
Michael Griffin NASA Administrator has told America’s National Public Radio that while he has no doubt a trend of global warming exists “I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.”‘
‘These days, data get stored on disks, computer chips, hard drives and good old-fashioned paper.
Scientists in Japan see something far smaller but more durable – bacteria.
The four characters – T, C, A and G – that represent the genetic coding in DNA work much like digital data.
Character combinations can stand for specific letters and symbols – so codes in genomes can be translated, or read, to produce music, text, video and other content.
While ink may fade and computers may crash, bacterial information lasts as long as a species stays alive – possibly a mind-boggling million years – according to Professor Masaru Tomita, who heads the team of researchers at Keio University.’
‘Tony Blair has reiterated his backing for nuclear power as the government prepares to unveil its energy strategy.
Plans to build more nuclear power stations are expected to be among the proposals in the Energy White Paper.
An expansion of energy efficiency and renewable sources such as tide and wind power will also be detailed.
The PM says nuclear power can “underpin the security of our energy supply” but opponents say it is dangerous and will reduce investment in renewable sources.’
‘According to the caller, the mysteries had actually been solved by Joseph Davidovits, Director of the Geopolymer Institute in St. Quentin, France, more than two decades ago. Davidovits claimed that the stones of the pyramids were actually made of a very early form of concrete created using a mixture of limestone, clay, lime, and water. [..]
A year and a half later, after extensive scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and other testing, Barsoum and his research group finally began to draw some conclusions about the pyramids. They found that the tiniest structures within the inner and outer casing stones were indeed consistent with a reconstituted limestone. The cement binding the limestone aggregate was either silicon dioxide (the building block of quartz) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral.
The stones also had a high water content-unusual for the normally dry, natural limestone found on the Giza plateau-and the cementing phases, in both the inner and outer casing stones, were amorphous, in other words, their atoms were not arranged in a regular and periodic array. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone are seldom, if ever, amorphous.
The sample chemistries the researchers found do not exist anywhere in nature. “Therefore,” says Barsoum, “it’s very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block.”‘
‘The world is now on track to experience more catastrophic damages from climate change than in the worst-case scenario forecast by international experts, scientists have warned.
The research, published in a prestigious US science journal, shows that between 2000 and 2004 the rate of increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was three times greater than in the 1990s. [..]
The climbing emissions mean that average global temperatures are now on track to rise by more than four degrees this century – enough to thaw vast areas of arctic permafrost and leave about 3 billion people suffering from water shortages, including in Australia.’
‘A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with Nato urgently examining the offensive and its implications.
While Russia and Estonia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a row that erupted at the end of last month over the Estonians’ removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country has been subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies. [..]
While planning to raise the issue with the Russian authorities, EU and Nato officials have been careful not to accuse the Russians directly.
If it were established that Russia is behind the attacks, it would be the first known case of one state targeting another by cyber-warfare.’
‘South Korea’s LG Philips LCD has developed the world’s first A4-sized colour electronic-paper – a paper-thin and bendable viewing panel.
The e-paper – which measures 35.9cm across its diagonal and is just 300 micrometres (0.3 millimetres) thin – can display up to 4096 colours, the world’s second largest liquid crystal display maker said in a statement.
It is designed to be energy-efficient, only using power when the image changes on the display, it said.’
‘Cold fusion, the ability to generate nuclear power at room temperatures, has proven to be a highly elusive feat. In fact, it is considered by many experts to be a mere pipe dream — a potentially unlimited source of clean energy that remains tantalizing, but so far unattainable.
However, a recently published academic paper from the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego throws cold water on skeptics of cold fusion. Appearing in the respected journal Naturwissenschaften, which counts Albert Einstein among its distinguished authors, the article claims that Spawar scientists Stanislaw Szpak and Pamela Mosier-Boss have achieved a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) that can be replicated and verified by the scientific community.’
‘On January 16, 2007, a dazzling blue flame blasted across the sands of the Mojave desert. In many respects, it looked like an ordinary rocket engine test, but this was different. While most NASA rockets are powered by liquid oxygen and hydrogen or solid chemicals, “we were testing a methane engine,” says project manager Terri Tramel of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). [..]
The main engine, built and fired by the NASA contractor team Alliant Techsystems/XCOR Aerospace, is still in an early stage of development and isn’t ready for space. But if the technology proves itself, methane engines like this one could eventually be key to deep space exploration.
Methane (CH4), the principal component of natural gas, is abundant in the outer solar system. It can be harvested from Mars, Titan, Jupiter, and many other planets and moons. With fuel waiting at the destination, a rocket leaving Earth wouldn’t have to carry so much propellant, reducing the cost of a mission.’
Check out the video.
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‘How do you get rid of the body of a dead astronaut on a three-year mission to Mars and back?
When should the plug be pulled on a critically ill astronaut who is using up precious oxygen and endangering the rest of the crew? Should NASA employ DNA testing to weed out astronauts who might get a disease on a long flight?
With NASA planning to land on Mars 30 years from now, and with the recent discovery of the most “Earth-like” planet ever seen outside the solar system, the space agency has begun to ponder some of the thorny practical and ethical questions posed by deep space exploration.’
‘When AACS was revealed as the encryption format of choice for HD DVD and Blu-ray, bets were placed on how long it would take for it to be cracked. Since the first HD DVD and Blu-ray discs began shipping, hackers have been hard at work figuring out how to break the encryption; DVD Jon even registered DeAACS.com. We’ve covered both crackers’ efforts and the attempts by the AACS Licensing Authority to keep those cracks from seeping into the public consciousness. Yesterday, all of that came to a head.’
‘[..] If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy – but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.’