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05/29/10 - Farm Subsidies average $500,000 EACH (Updated)
Big farmers get big subsidies, whether they need them or not. To find out how much they’re getting in your state, go to farm.ewg.org, an online subsidy database. The Economist magazine recently did a special report on water shortages worldwide. The biggest users are farmers. Water tables are being seriously depleted. The Economist notes that if markets were allowed to price water instead of governments, few arid regions would grow water-intensive crops. For instance, why do we grow rice in Texas, or cotton in California? Who’s getting the most subsidies? Over the last five years, the wealthiest 10 percent of farmers received 74 percent of subsidies. On average, they got almost half a million each. - Full Article Source

I received an eye-opening email today about this Farm Subsidy subject which I think everyone should be aware of..I never knew all of this, thanks Lee!

KeelyNet Why do farmers in arid regions grow water intensive crops? Because that's the only way they can secure the bank funding to farm. No bank is going to loan money (the kind of money for modern farming equipment) on dryland farming.

And once you've spent the quarter million dollars for a combine, $150,000 for a tractor, about that on implements, thousands for fertilizer and seed at around $100 a bag (thank you Monsanto) (oh, and of course you can't save and reuse the corn for seed-even if it wouldn't de-hybridize, it's illegal), then you have to pour the water to it and not stop or you'll never be able to make your bank payments.

With modern irrigation farming, you're more nearly guaranteed a crop, the bank's investment is more nearly guaranteed, and you're guaranteed to be in debt for a long time. One thing I think is interesting-an old farmer told me that a good irrigation well will flow about a million gallons of water a day. Drinking water (at the store) is often $1 or more a gallon.

Our water is as good or better than most bottled water, so they're putting a million dollars worth of water on the ground a day for corn worth $2.50 a bushel!
(I have a problem with that 'million gallons per day' but couldn't find any details on the net about what is an average flow rate per day. Found it, irrigation pumps often run at 1,000 gallons per minute which comes to 1,440,000 gallons PER DAY! I never realized farming was so water intensive, wonder if a drop system would be better? - JWD)

05/28/10 - Abolish Copyright and Patents? (spend the time, WATCH)
To create an explosion of innovation and great new products abolish copyright and patents. Johanna Blakley gives a talk at TED showing how copyright and patent law's that are claimed to foster innovation and new product creation, actually have the effect of stifling innovation. She points out that the one creative industry that courts have denied patent and copyright protection to, fashion, is actually the most efficiently creative of all creative industries. / Copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture. (12:23 - 12:40 of the video will BLOW YOU AWAY! - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/28/10 - Physicist subverts training claiming to prove existence of God
As reported by the First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida, Tulane University professor Frank Tipler has "rock solid, scientific proof that God exists." Tipler grew up religious, had a brief foray into doubt, only to return somewhat to his Christian roots in discovering that the singularity at the beginning of it all, is, well...God. God the father, to be specific. The universe that burst forth from this singularity is God the Son. And once the universe shrinks back into the singularity, well, there will be God the Holy Spirit. Tipler, often confused with an objective rationalist because of his educational background, makes the bold claim that the singularity at the beginning of the universe "has the essential properties of God." It's a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance possible in the human psyche and why the idea that science and religion can be compatible is a dangerous one. Science suffers when scientists forgo the strict standards of the discipline and take giant leaps of faith, as Tipler has done, in order to give scientific credence to supernaturalism. - Full Article Source

05/28/10 - Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 video
Since the previously-posted stills can’t quite convey the chaos of last weekend’s Maker Faire, here’s some video from the event to help get you through hump day. It’s like three liters of Jolt Cola in a two liter bottle. One thing even video can’t adequately capture is our gratitude toward our readers at the show who took time to express their appreciation for the blog. You guys and gals rock our world. Thank you! - Full Article Source

White Rabbit

05/28/10 - A Genetically Engineered Fly That Can Smell Light
"It sounds like a cool — if somewhat pointless — super-powered insect: a fly that can smell light! Researchers added a light-sensitive protein to a fruit fly's olfactory neurons, which caused the neurons to fire when the fly was exposed to a certain wavelength of blue light. Adding the protein specifically to neurons that respond to good smells, like bananas, makes for a light-seeking fly." - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Gulf Oil Spill could have been SEALED in 8 Hours Anytime!
KeelyNet The Counter Pressure Plug information from a UK inventor Branko R. Babic as he invented same in 1991 for Kuwait Oil Fires above the ground and they will work underwater with ROV welding special thick steel tubes with washers to be welded to the interior while the tubes allow full flow of gas, oil, water through tubes into the gulf.

05/26/10 - The latest version of the LittleDog Robot
This is the more advanced version of this robot, created by the University of Southern California. The robot is completely autonomous and trained by machine learning algorithms. The video is real-time, i.e., not sped up. ( via impactlab.com ) - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Darwinian spacecraft engine to last twice as long
SPACE agencies may one day have Charles Darwin to thank for the longevity of their spacecraft. The life expectancy of a popular type of ion engineMovie Camera has been almost doubled using software that mimics the way natural selection evolves ever fitter designs. Electrostatic ion engines are becoming popular in space missions. Instead of relying on burning large amounts of heavy liquid propellant for thrust, they use solar power to ionise a small supply of xenon gas. A high voltage applied across a pair of gridded electrodes sends the positively charged ions rushing at high speed towards the negative electrode. Most ions pass through the grid, generating thrust. However, some ions collide with the grid itself, causing it to gradually wear out, says Cody Farnell, a space flight engineer at the University of Colorado in Fort Collins. Simulations suggest grids in a typical NASA engine will last 2.8 years - but Farnell wondered whether changing the grid's design could extend its lifespan. He used evolution-mimicking software called a genetic algorithm (GA), and started by instructing the algorithm to randomly generate values corresponding to the geometry of the grid and the voltages applied to it. These values can be thought of as analogous to genes. Each combination of values was then fed into a simulator to give an idea of the grid's performance and its expected lifetime. If the performance was promising, the "genetic material" was subjected to further random changes, or mutation, and this process was repeated until no more improvements were forthcoming. - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - There Is No Substitute for Preparation
KeelyNet Few among us would fail to recount a time when we got by on dumb luck, but there is nothing that can stand in the stead of preparation. Take a peek at this and other wisdom from Abraham Lincoln. Before you can succeed, you must prepare. When Lincoln was an unknown attorney in the backwoods of Illinois he was preparing for success, when Lincoln became an Illinois State Senator, he was preparing for success, and even when he lost the election for the U.S. senate twice, he was preparing for success. What are you doing in preparation for success? Lincoln said, "I will prepare and some day my chance will come." What are you doing today to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow? - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - How corporations manufacture doubt
Techniques appear to be limited only by the imagination and integrity of the campaigners - which is to say, there don't appear to be any limits. One of the best is to just flat-out lie. A coalition of US coal and electricity companies set the tone in the 1990s with the creation of the Information Council on the Environment (ICE). It's purpose: to "reposition climate change as a theory not a fact". ICE hired a PR firm to create advertising messages. These ranged from the ridiculous - "Who told you the Earth was getting warmer... Chicken Little?" - to the blatantly false - "If the Earth is getting warmer, why is Minneapolis getting colder?" But the focus groups found them effective, and that is all that mattered. ICE also hired scientists to sign querulous opinion-page articles and PR agencies to harass journalists. Today, journalists - embattled, overwhelmed and committed to "balance", no matter how spurious - are useful conduits for spreading doubt. Other corporate tactics include the creation of phoney grass-roots organisations. The pioneer was The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), set up in 1993 by a group of tobacco, nuclear energy, agribusiness, chemicals and oil companies. TASSC's stated goal was to "encourage the public to question - from the grass roots up - the validity of scientific studies." ICE and TASSC are no more, but their tactics live on. The doubt industry has ballooned in the past two decades. There are now scores of think tanks pushing dubious and confusing policy positions, and dozens of phoney grass-roots organisations created to make those positions appear to have legitimate following. It's a hardball world. Never doubt it. - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Composting to create hot water
KeelyNet Want nature to supply you with 130-150 degree hot water? [Onestraw] shows you how to get just that by building a compost heap that heats water. Finding himself the proud owner of a dump truck of green wood chips [Onestraw] went about building his own version of Jean Pain’s thermal compost pile. The idea is to produce and store methane generated from the compost pile but in order to do so, the temperature must be kept fairly low. The microorganisms in the compost generate a lot of heat trying to break down that matter and running water through the system will keep the temperature low enough for the methane-producers to be happy. The side effect of this cooling system is hot water coming out the other end. [Onestraw] even has plans to use salvaged car radiators to turn the hot water into a heating system for his home. Granted you’re not going to add this to your apartment, but if you have space and waste plant matter and need hot water this is a great way to get it. (Years ago I was told about an Aussie who had a 9 long X 6 foot wide X 6 foot deep pit which he filled with chicken manure. He planted a metal pole at each end and connected a cable to each of the poles to extract direct current. He used the DC to charge a battery network which fed inverters to provide all his electrical needs. The fellow who told me this at a conference did not know if the metal poles were iron or different metals. Probably one was iron, the other copper. I have never read of anyone duplicating or testing this. - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Young Adults of Today Have an Over-Inflated Sense of Entitlement
The young adults of today want it all but are not prepared to work for it, a new study suggests. Those who were born into “Generation Y" have an over-inflated sense of entitlement lack the work ethic to achieve their goals. They also hate being criticised, it is claimed. Researchers believe that the problem stems from being constantly told from birth they are special and as a result now believe it – and will ignore anybody who says otherwise. Academics have concluded the values drummed into their grandparents, such as a strong work ethic and self-sacrifice, have been lost in the relentless quest for self-fulfilment. “Generation Y" or Gen-Yers refers to those born between the 1980s and 90s who are now in their 20s or approaching their 30s. They are also known as the “Millennium generation" or the “Boomerang generation" because they keep moving back home with their parents in young adulthood due to financial or commitment issues. They are marked by dependence on technology, delaying of adulthood, a casual approach to life and placing a higher value on self-fulfilment than previous generations. Members have long complained they have been unfairly characterised as lazy but the new research appears to prove that the stereotype is actually true. - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Aircraft carrier is moving target for autonomous quadcopter
[Karl-Engelbert Wenzel] developed a UAV capable of taking off and landing on a moving platform autonomously. The platform operates aircraft-carrier-style by driving around the room in circles. The quadcopter tracks a grid of IR LEDs at the front of the landing deck by using the IR camera from a Wii remote. The best part is that the flight controls and processing are all done by the copter’s onboard ATmega644 processor, not requiring a connection to a PC. The landings are quite accurate, achieving a maximum error of less than 40 centimeters. In the video after the break you can see the first landing is slightly off the mark but the next two are dead on target. So build yourself a mobile platform and pair it up with your newly finished quadcopter to replicate this delightful hack. / Our visual tracking approach differs from other methods by using low-cost, lightweight commodity consumer hardware. As main sensor we use a Wii remote infrared (IR) camera, which allows robust tracking of a pattern of IR lights in conditions without direct sunlight. The system does not need to communicate with the ground vehicle and works with an onboard 8-bit microcontroller. Nevertheless the position and orientation relative to the IR pattern is estimated at a frequency of approximately 50,Hz. This enables the UAV to fly fully autonomously, performing flight control, self-stabilisation and visual tracking of the ground vehicle. - Full Article Source

* It's official, the phrase "All the tea in china" has been replaced with 'All the oil in the gulf" - Can't wait for the royalties!
* Eating at a very expensive restaurant and spilled salad dressing on my pants. Not sure how to tackle this.
* The ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick!
* I'm sorry, are people mad at us for drilling in the ocean?!? Maybe God shouldn't have put oil there in the first place. DUH!
* Negative people view the ocean as half empty of oil. We are dedicated to making it half full. Stay positive America!
* Please do NOT take or clean any oil you find on the beach. That is the property of British Petroleum and we WILL sue you.
* You know what they say about the ocean... Once it goes black it never goes back! JOKING - the water is brown.

Seems kind of fishy to me. I think it's just a ploy to sell t-shirts. - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - IBM's Patent-Pending Traffic Lights Stop Car Engines
"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let your engine idle. The USPTO has just published IBM's patent application for a 'System and Method for Controlling Vehicle Engine Running State at Busy Intersections for Increased Fuel Consumption Efficiency.' Here's how Big Blue explains the invention: 'The present disclosure is directed to a method for managing engines in response to a traffic signal. The method may comprise establishing communications with participating vehicles; responding to a stop status indicated by the traffic signal, further comprising: receiving a position data from each participating vehicles; determining a queue of participating vehicles stopped at the traffic signal; determining a remaining duration of the stop status; sending a stop-engine notification to the list of participating vehicles stopped at the traffic signal when the remaining duration is greater than a threshold of time; responding to a proceed status indicated by the traffic signal, further comprising: sending a start-engine notification to a first vehicle in the queue; calculating an optimal time for an engine of a second vehicle in the queue to start; and sending the start-engine notification to the second vehicle at the optimal time.' IBM notes that 'traffic signals may include, but are not limited to, traffic lights at intersections, railway crossing signals, or other devices for indicating correct moments to stop and to proceed.'" - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Killed By Ice
KeelyNet "NASA officially ended its Phoenix Mars Lander operation today after a new image of the machine showed severe ice damage to its solar panels, and repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft had failed. 'Apparent changes in the shadows cast by the lander are consistent with predictions of how Phoenix could be damaged by harsh winter conditions. It was anticipated that the weight of a carbon-dioxide ice buildup could bend or break the lander's solar panels. [Michael Mellon of the University of Colorado] calculated hundreds of pounds of ice probably coated the lander in mid-winter.'" - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive
"'There's a perception that [printer] ink is one of the most expensive substances in the world,' says Thom Brown, marketing manager at HP. Well, yeah. One might get that feeling walking out of a store having spent $35 for a single ink cartridge that appears to contain fewer fluid ounces of product than a Heinz ketchup packet. Brown was ready to explain. He presented a series of PowerPoint slides aptly titled 'Why is printer ink so expensive?' I was ready for answers. The key point in a nutshell: Ink technology is expensive, and you pay for reliability and image quality. 'These liquids are completely different from a technology standpoint,' Brown says, adding that users concerned about cost per page can buy 'XL' ink cartridges from HP that last two to three times longer. (Competitors do the same). The message: You get value for the money. No getting around it though: Ink is still expensive, particularly if you have to use that inkjet printer for black-and-white text pages." - Full Article Source

05/26/10 - Poor MABEL
At first, watching this video of MABEL, a bipedal robot for studying dynamic gaits, we didn’t know if we should be scared or feel sad. By the end, we know that sadness prevailed. Poor MABEL, forced into a grueling routine, is not even allowed to rest when her leg breaks. To be serious though, MABEL is quite impressive. Instead of using a direct drive on the legs, motors are attached to springs that act like tendons. This helps compensate for variances in the walking surface, hopefully allowing for smoother transitions between gaits as well. As you can see, MABEL handles the height differences quite well, albeit a bit slowly. It is worth noting that there are no visual sensors on MABEL and everything is done through feedback from her gait. - Full Article Source

(This is only good for 24 hours, see the box to the left for giveaway of the day) - Hola Folks! Thought you might find this of interest and it's one of those timely issues to get it for free. It just came up at 2AM so I'd wait about 8-10 hours and then read the reviews to make sure people who tried it didn't have problems with registration, operation or bugs. Another fascinating free program from giveawayoftheday, its only good for 24 hours so at 2AM central Wednesday morning, you'll have to buy it if you want it...so download now if you could use something like this; Free Drive Copy 9.5 PE (101MB)

101MB program normally sells for $29.95 - Drive Copy 9.5 Personal Edition

Create a virtual clone of your PC, including operating system, drivers and settings, all your applications and files. Save it to the USB hard drive and use it on another computer, just as if you’re working from your own PC. Use Drive Copy Personal to easily migrate to new hard drive or even different hardware without reinstalling, create backup images of your hard drive, and perform basic partitioning operations and even more. Learn how to make your system mobile with Drive Copy 9.5:

1. Create a virtual clone on your PC. Including operating system, drivers and settings, all your applications and files.
2. You can choose the format of your virtual environment. Choose format you prefer –VMWARE or MS Virtual PC. New users can download a virtual player from the official site of preferred vendor for free.
3. Save a virtual clone of your PC to a USB hard drive. Save a virtual player on the same disk as well and use your PC anywhere.
4. Your PC is in your pocket now! Plug your USB drive to other computers, install a virtual player there and use your PC anytime you need it.

Key and New Features:

* Windows 7 Support (32/64-bit). Accomplish any operation under Windows 7.
* Refined User Interface. Improved two-level user interface (Easy/Advanced) to satisfy the needs of every customer.
* Support for major virtual machines. MS Virtual PC, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion.
* Wide migration options. Migrate to another hard drive, migrate to different hardware, migrate to virtual machine, migrate your Apple hard drive.
* P2V Copy. Migrate a Win2K+ physical system to a virtual environment.
* P2P Adjust OS. Make OS start up after unsuccessful migration with 3rd party tools.
* Smart Driver Injector. Make the process of adding new drivers smooth and easy.
* Simple Backup and Restore Wizard. Make the process of adding new drivers smooth and easy. Create compressed image of your hard drive or partition.

KeelyNet These are all ebay BUY NOW flash drives you can use to clone your computer using the program above and even run it from the flash drive on another computer. I was amazed to see they are up to 256GB and I saw one claim that the flash drive would hold data for 10 years. Bet that 256GB flash drive takes some time to load;

64GB Stainless Steel Rotating USB 2.0 Flash Drive New US $36.99

64GB Flash Memory USB 2.0 64g Thumb Drive US $36.99


This looks like a great and cheap way to backup your hard drive and make all your software applications portable. (Any one of them would sure make a nice gift, hint, hint! - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Sharkskin Inspired Paint Helps Planes, Boats Cheat Friction
Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany developed paint that can withstand the extremes of air travel and a pattern that applies it like scales, in turn receiving the organization's Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for research with practical uses. Sharks' scales cut down on drag and resistance faced while swimming, and researchers Yvonne Wilke, Dr. Volkmar Stenzel and Manfred Peschk wanted to find a way to replicate that effect for planes and ships. They first developed paint made with nanoparticles that allow it to withstand temperatures ranging from -55 to 70 degrees Celsius, intense UV radiation and the speeds of air travel. They then determined the best way to apply the paint to airplane exteriors in a way to mimic scales was to use a stencil. The researchers also tested the paint and application process on a ship in a ship construction testing facility, finding that the paint reduces friction by more than five percent. Over one year of use, they say, the paint would reduce a large container ship's fuel needs by 2,000 tons. (Thanks to Bob Nelson at Rex Research. - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - 'Ocean Therapy' invention to clean oil from sea; BP OK's tests
Actor Kevin Costner's high-speed centrifuge machine has a Los Angeles-perfect name: "Ocean Therapy." Placed on a barge, it sucks in large quantities of polluted water, separates out the oil and spits back 97% clean water. "It's like a big vacuum cleaner," said Costner's business partner, Louisiana trial lawyer John Houghtaling. "The machines are basically sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water," he said. His scientist brother, Dan Costner, helped develop the device, and together, the brothers formed Costner Industries Nevada Corp. to pursue various energy projects, including a non-chemical battery that could last 15 years. The 55-year-old actor eventually sank $26 million into the Ocean Therapy oil separator project. He obtained a license for the device from the Department of Energy in 1993 and has been trying for years to promote it. In 2007, he told London's Daily Mail that he had blown millions on "technologies I thought would help the world" and had nothing to show for it. "I've lost $40 million-plus," he said. "But I knew that if I was right, it would change things in an incredibly positive way." Last week, he was in Louisiana seeking redemption, demonstrating his Ocean Therapy contraption. At least 210,000 gallons of oil per day is gushing into the sea from the ocean floor where the BP rig exploded April 20. The oil company has tried several novel solutions, but none has worked so far to plug the leak. The company is skimming the oil, spraying it with dispersant chemicals underwater and trying to burn it on the surface. Nineteen percent of the Gulf's lucrative fisheries are closed, billions of beach tourist dollars are at stake and dozens of seagoing species are threatened. Costner has 300 of his Ocean Therapy machines in various sizes. The largest, at 21/2 tons, is able to clean water at a rate of 200 gallons a minute - faster than the well is leaking, Houghtaling noted. - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Northwoods Man Stumbles Across Oil-Absorbing Invention
Leosorb is a carbon-based material that promises to remove nearly 100 percent of bulk oil on water. And its an invention that a man from Harshaw, WI stumbled upon by chance. Leosorb is a carbon-based material that promises to remove nearly 100 percent of bulk oil on water. And its an invention that a man from Harshaw, WI stumbled upon by chance. About five years ago, Leo Krombholz, 46, spilled some oil. He had some materials he thought could clean it up. He won't say exactly what the materials are made of...but seconds after he put what is now known as Leosorb on top of the oil, it was completely absorbed. He says he knew he was onto something big. "I've been playing around with this four or five years and I think I came to Fred probably a year, year and a half ago, and talked to him about it and we've kinda been working on it since," Krombholz said. Fred Lane writes and prosecutes patents, this particular patent application was filed just recently. - Full Article Source

Needless to say I was floored, and will not return to a McDonalds if they want to nickel and dime me to add a little mayo to my sandwich - I will go see the King from now on, where I can "Have it my way"! - Full Article Source

Sez You!

We are all told at school that in a vacuum, all objects accelerate under gravity at the same rate, regardless of their mass, shape or size. This is something that I had never witnessed first hand. During the Apollo 15 mission, David Scott dropped a hammer and a feather on the moon to demonstrate that they would hit the ground simultaneously. The result of this demonstration looks rather strange though because of the low lunar gravity. It looks more like the hammer is falling abnormally slowly. I decided I wanted to witness this phenomenon first hand, so set up an experiment in the bell-jar vacuum rig.

05/23/10 - Getting Your Invention Idea In The Door Without a Patent
For inventions that are not yet patented, or that contain trade secrets or features that are additional to the patent, I recommend considering the following procedure for submission to companies. (I am not giving legal advice, and you should always contact your attorney when you are dealing with legally binding contracts.) I typically meet many company executives, especially at trade shows, and many are very willing to offer to sign a confidentiality agreement. They typically ask that one be sent to them at their office after the trade show. This is all fine and good, however it is my experience that 1 in 10 of these executives ever follow through with their promise. This, by itself, is not necessarily an indicator that the company is not a worthwhile candidate, for reason that I will explain later. After returning from the trade show, I would send the company executive a confidential disclosure agreement and give them an opportunity to return it. If, after 30 days and one verbal reminder, they have not returned the confidential disclosure agreement, and if it is still part of the strategy to submit the invention to this company, then I would do so with a cover letter of confidentiality. The reason I would do this is because since the company already indicated that they are willing to receive the invention on a confidential basis, receiving a cover letter of confidentiality is not out of the realm of what they should expect. In my cover letter to the company I usually state the invention is being submitted under the understanding that all submitted information shall remain property of the inventor, and the company shall not commercialize or use the invention without a written agreement between the parties. As long as I get this term, it usually doesn’t matter so much to me if the company also agrees to confidentiality, as I have never had a company abuse this in my 33 years in the invention business. - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Forever White Teeth Headset Is The Stupidest Invention This Year
KeelyNet Take a look at the picture and it gives you an idea of what the Forever White Teeth headset does, basically it is a pair of headphones that can be plugged into your MP3 player and also features a built in teeth whitener. In order to use this wonderful invention, you have to out some sort of gel on your teeth, and then sit there for an hour whilst the LEDs shine on your teeth, seriously who thinks up these things? - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Insta-Fire invention is hot idea for LDS home food storage
It's pretty much a "don't try this at home" thing, but seriously, Konel Banner can light Insta-Fire granules in his hand. Because the patented volcanic rock and wood pellet mixture burns from the top down, the fire doesn't burn him — unless the wind blows the flame sideways. That's just one feature Banner feels makes Insta-Fire an ideal fuel for Mormons to include in their home storage plan. "It's so completely safe to store, next to food, in the garage, even after it's been opened," Banner said. "It doesn't light with a spark. It's considered a noncombustible." - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Inflating a modern airship
E Green Technologies, Inc. is an emerging leader in the development and production of helium-filled, lighter-than-air vehicles for surveillance, advertising, military, communications, cargo/passenger transport, and other applications. The company is a Georgia corporation formed in April 2008, and its executive offices are located at 25 McClellan Parkway, Kellyton, Alabama. E-Greens airships are a major leap in technology from traditional lighter-than-air vehicles much in the same way helicopters added unique capabilities to fixed wing aircraft. Advances made from 18 current patents allow E-Green to offer spherical, as well as bullet-shaped design, with vertical takeoff and landing and five times the lift capability of conventional airships on the market today. They hover, spin and rotate on an axis, and no longer require wind to maintain stability. And, they are green fueled by algae and/or diesel with later versions to run on a hybrid electric engine. E-Greens airships offer the greatest value proposition for defense, homeland security, disaster relief, remote sensing, communications, missile defense warning, surveillance and navigation, weather monitoring and other needed capabilities, combining low cost and high performance. E-Green Technology 21st Century Airships (EGT) holds the current world record for high altitude flight (22,000 ft.). E-Green plans to break this record in the next few months by bringing to market the new Bullet 580 airship, 235 feet long, 105 feet wide, 90 feet tall and 65 feet in diameter, making it the largest operating airship in the world. The Bullet 580 has a unique design of seven internal helium envelopes that control lift while the outer envelope is completely non-rigid and contained with simple ambient air much like your everyday moon bounce found at a child's birthday party. The algae fuel is so safe you could actually drink it, if you were so inclined. The first inflation of the E-Greens Bullet 580 Airship occurred at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Alabama, on Monday, May 17, 2010. Test flights will begin in early summer, 2010. With these flights, the Bullet 580 will look to shatter the world record for airship flight altitude and provide a capability never before achievable by airships. Currently there exists no efficient manned or unmanned system for mid- or high- altitude and long duration flight, between 50,000-75,000 feet with the capability to stay airborne for weeks to months, providing a stable sustainable platform. - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - PA Attorney General goes after bloggers who criticized office
"The state attorney general's office has issued a subpoena threatening officials of the social networking service Twitter with arrest unless they reveal the names of two bloggers who have been critical of Attorney General Tom Corbett and his public corruption investigation. Vic Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union told Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV that the court action 'raises grave concerns about abuse of the grand jury process to retaliate against political critics and opponents.' He said Americans 'have a right to criticize government officials and to do so anonymously.'" - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - InfoLadies of Bangladesh revolutionize rural life
KeelyNet Bangladesh's Infoladies ride from village to village on bicycles, toting netbooks and mobile phones, and set up infobooths where they use net-gathered info to teach hygiene, help with childbirth, assist with crop problems, and so on. There's an army of them. "Ask me about the pest that's infecting your crop, common skin diseases, how to seek help if your husband beats you or even how to stop having children, and I may have a solution," says a confident Akhter. "An InfoLady's netbook is loaded with content especially compiled and translated in local Bangla language," says Mohammed Forhad Uddin of D.Net, a not-for-profit research organisation that is pioneering access to livelihood information. "It provides answers and solutions to some of the most common problems faced by people in villages." In Bangladesh this means nearly three-quarters of the nearly 160 million that live in rural areas. From agriculture to health, sanitation and disaster management, the content follows simple text, pictures and engaging multimedia animations to include all users, many of whom are illiterate. - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - NASA Outlines "Flagship" Technology Demonstrations
"As part of its new plans, NASA has outlined the initial series of large-scale 'flagship' technology demonstration (FTD) missions for developing and testing technologies needed for sustainable beyond-Earth exploration, complementing the smaller-scale ETDD missions outlined previously. The first four FTD missions (costing $400M-$1B each, about the cost of the recent Ares I-X suborbital rocket launch) are scheduled to launch between 2014 and 2016, demonstrating advanced in-space propulsion (next-generation ion propulsion and solar arrays), in-space propellant transfer and storage, a lightweight/inflatable mission module at the ISS (which will also test closed-loop life support), and an inflatable aeroshell for aerocapture at Mars. A multi-purpose robotic rendezvous and docking vehicle will also be developed to support these missions." - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Russian man aims to reinvent 'Taser' technology
"A Russian man is hoping to overhaul the technology within Taser-type weapons — transforming them from single-shot, short-range devices that stun for a few seconds, into more effective long-range, rapid-fire weapons — by modifying the wires and the type of shock they generate, reports Wired. Non-lethal weapon developer Oleg Nemtyshkin's design uses bare wires, rather than the insulated wires favored by Taser and other stun gun makers. These wires weigh only about one sixteenth as much as insulated wire, providing less drag on the darts and improved accuracy. Nemtyshkin demonstrated his bare wire technology with a prototype – 'Legionary" — in 2001. His latest version is the S5, and a video of the weapon in action shows it firing repeatedly — almost as fast as the trigger can be pulled." / Nemtyshkin's next project, the Leyden Gun, will deliver a short shock with lasting effects. The Leyden Gun is the size of a paintball rifle, with a magazine of thirty rounds. The projectiles are simple needles rather than elaborate barbed darts, as they do not stick to the target but administer a single jolt from a high-voltage capacitor. Nemtyshkin sees the Leyden Gun as a riot-control weapon, and an alternative to rubber bullets. The lightweight darts are effective out to 30 metres – three times the range of a Taser, and the same as the XREP Taser shotgun projectile currently being considered by UK police. Longer range will make it harder to guarantee a hit, so the Leyden Gun can fire a burst of three shots with each trigger pull to improve the odds. There will also be a pistol-sized Leyden Gun with shorter range and a magazine of eight or 10 shots. - Full Article Source

05/23/10 - Food Bloggers Giving Restaurant Owners Heartburn
"Call it the invasion of the pasta paparazzi. Food bloggers are so excited about sharing their experiences, especially at trendy, popular restaurants, that they're too busy taking pictures and video to enjoy the food when it's at its best. Many signature dishes come out at the perfect temperature ... take a few minutes to capture what it looks like, and your palate won't be nearly as pleased. Some restaurants have taken the step of banning cameras, or at least have established a 'no flash' rule. Others just want to make sure enthusiastic reviewers are still enthused after eating their food." - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - A Fish-Friendly Tidal Turbine
KeelyNet Anderson’s ECO-Auger is based on a much different design, enabling it to access energy that regular water turbines can’t. Rather than using blades, it produces power when the current spins a drill-shaped device called an auger, which has tapered ends that don’t harm fish. Instead of using gears to drive an attached generator, a hydraulic pump in the nosecone pumps high-pressure oil to turn a generator outside the water. The arrangement lets the turbine capture energy in shallow waters, and to tether to bridges and other structures so that the auger is relatively easy to lift out of the water for maintenance. Whereas most bladed turbines need at least 30 feet of water to operate, Anderson’s smallest units need only 10. Anderson had used a revolving horizontal corkscrew to feed plastic to machines in his New Jersey factory and knew that ancient Egyptian farmers used augers to irrigate high ground. To see if a water-driven auger could do the job of conventional turbine blades, he tested an eight-inch plastic prototype in a pool, measured the torque, and ran it in a tank of minnows. When he saw that it worked without affecting the fish, he spent four months in his garage handcrafting a two-foot-diameter polyurethane-and-fiberglass auger that in a test captured 14 percent of the water’s energy—not as much as the 25 to 45 percent that huge propeller-driven turbines can get, but Anderson says that percentage will go up as the auger’s diameter increases, and for a fraction of the cost. In a 10-knot current, each will generate five to seven kilowatts, enough to power four to six homes. Most important, he wants to show that his method of mass production is sound, so he can move on to the full-scale, 16-foot-diameter augers. “We already know it will work," he says. “Now it’s just a matter of doing it." - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Ray Tomes Cycles in the Universe
KeelyNet Received a URL update from cycles researcher Ray Tomes so have made the changes; No. 39. Ray Tomes Cycles in the Universe and No. 40. The Harmonics Theory . Ray also writes; You might also be interested in adding a link for the Cycles Research Institute which will be of interest to your readers for the section on WSM (Wave Structure of Matter) including material related to Dr. Ivanov's Rhythmodynamics work that you have. / "Our mission is to discover, understand, and explain the true nature and origin of cycles, thereby solving the mystery of recurrent rhythmic phenomena, as has been observed in both the natural and the social sciences, and while so doing, to instruct others, and to apply this new knowledge for the greater good of all life."

05/21/10 - Levitating glass bead proves Einstein wrong
KeelyNet Microscopic particles in liquid or gas undergo Brownian motion – jittery, random movements that are the result of countless collisions with neighbouring molecules. Albert Einstein studied this motion, and in 1907, he predicted that a microscopic particle's kinetic energy – and thus the square of its velocity – should be proportional to the temperature of its surroundings. But directly testing this idea, which is called the equipartition theorem, is difficult to do for Brownian particles. That's because the many collisions experienced by the particle cause it to change speed and direction extremely quickly. Trapped by light - If the position of a particle can be measured rapidly enough, it might be possible to measure its velocity before collisions knock it off course. But Einstein predicted the short time scales between collisions would render the measurements "impossible". Now a team led by Mark Raizen of the University of Texas at Austin has found a way to do it – at least in air. The density of air is lower than water, so collisions are less frequent and microscopic particles change direction on longer time scales. To measure the velocity, the team used two laser beams to trap a dust-sized, 3-micrometre-wide glass bead in mid-air. By measuring how much the laser light was deflected by the glass bead as it moved around, the team could make multiple measurements of a particle's position before collisions caused it to veer off course. These position measurements enabled them to obtain a measure of the velocity every 5 microseconds and directly demonstrate that the equipartition theorem holds. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Urine a candidate for energy independence
KeelyNet We thought we were supposed to have fusion-power for our DeLorean by now but it perhaps urine-power is just around the corner instead. [Gerardine Botte] has been working on creating hydrogen from urine, the world’s most abundant waste product. The voltage needed to break apart the urea atoms is less than half that of water, and the way we see it, you’ve had the added benefit of already using the water once before creating the fuel. [Gerardine] also makes the point that urine has phosphorus in it which could be another useful outcome of the process because it is needed as an agricultural fertilizer. Does this mean that you can repay your designated driver by fueling up his vehicle after a night at the bar? It’s probably better than doing the same for the battery of your cell phone. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - American Exceptionalism
KeelyNet American exceptionalism is the theory that the United States occupies a special niche among the nations of the world in terms of its national credo, historical evolution, political and religious institutions, and its being built by immigrants. The roots of the belief are attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, who claimed that the then-50-year-old United States held a special place among nations, because it was the first modern democracy. Some don't agree: Persons who are not supporters of the theory of American exceptionalism often argue that it is equivalent to jingoism and nationalist propaganda. In their arguments, they often compare the US to other countries that have claimed an exceptional nature or destiny. Examples in more recent times include the UK at the height of the British Empire, as well the USSR, France and Nazi Germany; while many historic empires such as Ancient Rome, China, the Spanish Empire and a wide range of minor kingdoms and tribes have also embraced exceptionalism. (National Pride is a great thing but not when we try to jam our political system down the throats of other countries OR go around boasting how great we are...let it speak for itself by our ACTIONS! - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Micro Carbon "Octopus" Can Clean Up Oil Spills in Open Water
KeelyNet University of Central Florida Research Foundation, Inc. (Orlando, FL) received U.S. Patent 7,691,271 for carbon filaments for applications in many traditional areas, e.g. as catalysts and catalyst supports, selective adsorbents, composite materials, reinforcement agents, in energy and hydrogen storage, and oil spill cleanup. The patent was granted on April 6, 2010. A novel application for carbon materials produced during operation of the apparatus was discovered by inventor Dr. Nazim Muradov. It was found that carbon products produced by hydrocarbon decomposition over catalytic materials (e.g. AC, CB, Fe-alumina) can be used for the clean-up of oil spills on the surface of water. The invention takes advantage of the combination of two features characteristic of the carbon-product: distinct hydrophobic nature of the carbon surface, and the presence of carbon fibers which act as a hydrophobic "sponge" and readily adsorb the oil. Scattering of carbon-product particles over the surface of oil spill results in breaking of the oil pellicle and formation of a plurality of oil/carbon isles separated from each other. These isles can be conveniently removed from water surface by "brushing" with net. The captured oil can be easily retrieved from the oil/carbon slurry using conventional techniques (e.g. press separator). Alternatively, if heavy carbon/support particles (e.g. carbon deposited on Fe-based catalyst) are used for oil spill clean-up, the isles will slowly sink and remain under the water until oil is microbiologically consumed. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Move Over Idol - Make Way For The Next President
KeelyNet So You Want To Be The Next President is a new reality TV show that allows the average American to shape government policy, debate the issues and win the popular vote - and a cool million dollars! Do you or someone you know, have what it takes to be the next President of the USA? Have you always wanted a voice in the shaping of government policy or perhaps have been involved in the “Tea Party" events. Maybe you have answers to the country’s burning issues like unemployment, the economy, healthcare, energy, taxation or even the environment? If so, this is your chance to prove it. Audition applications are currently being taken for participants in the first political reality show to be called “So you want to be the next President" which is expected to be shown on one of the major TV networks next year. Armchair politicians, academics, people who have a vision for the future of the US and those who want to debate the major issues are all encouraged to apply to be on the show which will be aired next year. So, if you would like to be the next President, shape government policy or at least have the opportunity of a nationwide political voice on a range of current issues, you can apply for an audition to become a contestant by visiting their website www.bethenextpres.com and filling out an application. Contestants must be US citizens and at least 21 years of age to be eligible. Auditions are scheduled for late summer 2010 with the selection process and pilot beginning in the fall. The show should begin to be aired in early 2011 to coincide with presidential campaigning for the 2012 election. About So You Want To Be The Next President: This is a new reality TV show to be aired in 2011 which gives ordinary Americans the chance to shape government policy, debate the issues, win the popular vote and a grand prize of $1,000,000. Applications are being taken for those who would like to take part as contestants. Company Contact Information - So You Want To Be The Next President - David George - Orlando, Florida - 32819 - Phone : 8003139577 - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Software that Learns by Watching
Overworked and much in demand, IT support staff can't be in two places at once. But software designed to watch and learn as they carry out common tasks could soon help--by automatically performing the same jobs across different computers. The new software system, called KarDo, was developed by researchers at MIT. It can automatically configure an e-mail account, install a virus scanner, or set up access to a virtual private network, says MIT's Dina Katabi, an associate professor at MIT. Crucially, the software just needs to watch an administrator perform this task once before being able to carry out the same job on computers running different software. Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on simple and repetitive IT tasks, according to reports from the analyst groups Forrester and Gartner. KarDo could reduce these costs by as much as 20 percent, Katabi says. In some respects, KarDo resembles software that can be used to record macros--a set sequence of user actions on a computer. But KarDo attempts to learn the goal of each action in the sequence so it can be applied more generally later, says MIT post-graduate Hariharan Rahul, who codeveloped the system. KarDo is able to reliably infer how to reproduce each of the subtasks after watching it being performed just once, says Rahul. For example, after watching an e-mail account being set up using Microsoft Outlook, it can do the same on other computers running different e-mail software. KarDo has been tested on hundreds of combinations of real tasks by IT staff at MIT and was found to get tasks right 82 percent of the time. When KarDo doesn't perform a task correctly, the results aren't serious, Katabi says. The ultimate goal is for KarDo to intervene completely automatically, although this has not yet been tested. The idea is that when a user sends a request to the IT department , KarDo would perform the task automatically. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Are LED Fluorescent Tubes Ready for Prime Time?
KeelyNet What is a LED Fluorescent Tube? Actually, “LED fluorescent tube" is a misnomer. LED lights and fluorescent lights are completely different technologies. LEDs are very small bulbs illuminated by movement of electrons in a diode. Fluorescent bulbs use electrodes and a gas combination of argon and mercury to produce light. As such, the name “LED fluorescent tube" really refers to an LED tube that reminds us of traditional fluorescent tubes (such as the one that is likely overhead as you read this). LED lights should also not be confused with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs use the same technology as fluorescent tubes to produce light, but on a smaller scale. They are a replacement for the incandescent bulbs commonly found in most home light fixtures. CFLs have garnered a lot of press because of their energy efficiency and environmental benefits (i.e., they are considered to be greener than traditional lights because they use less power). An LED tube is made up of hundreds of individual LEDs. They come in a variety of sizes (2, 4 or 6 feet), different temperatures (i.e., different colors of light), and varying arrays of LEDs. They can be purchased with new fixtures, or used for retrofitting existing fixtures. However, they don’t require the ballasts that traditional fluorescents need, so those will need to be removed when replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED tubes. Fluorescent tubes contain mercury and phosphor, which present a number of health and environmental risks. The lights require a ballast, which adds to the cost of the lamp and can cause a buzzing noise. Finally, they frequently flicker, and the light is often drab. On the other hand, LED bulbs last longer than fluorescents, and they don’t contain harmful ingredients like mercury. Perhaps most signficantly, LEDs use much less power than fluorescent lamps -- and there are many other benefits, as well. Still, LEDs aren’t perfect. The tubes are generally not as bright and can cost more up front. And unfortunately, cost will likely be the number-one driver of greater adoption. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Shocking Treatment for Heart Repair
In a clinical trial at three centers across the United States, cardiologists are testing the safety of the shockwave device, developed by Maryland-based Medispec. The "Cardiospec" machine is based on the same sound-wave technology used to break up kidney stones, but it requires only about one-tenth the energy. "Shock waves are acoustic waves that create pressure that can be focused," says Medispec's Gil Hakim, the company's director of new product development. Direct that pressure toward the heart muscle with just the right intensity, and it causes the body to produce new blood vessels. Researchers aren't sure precisely why shockwaves have this effect--they believe that the pressure may induce a cascade of events that mimic wound-healing, recruiting undifferentiated cells to the area to build blood vessels. Preliminary studies show that about 70 percent of the patients who undergo the shockwave procedure experience somewhere between a 60 to 70 percent improvement in blood flow to their hearts. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Attack of the Cyborg Insects
KeelyNet As my friend Lew Rockwell put it, "The article, a defense of sci-fi war, is a reminder, not only of how much loot is taken from us for these murderous purposes, but how many scientific and engineering brains are enlisted into Starship Trooperism. How much freer, wealthier, and more advanced our civilization would be without the Pentagon, the CIA, the whole military-industrial complex. How many people would not have had their lives ended too soon." Militarism distorts the development of civilization, deforming the natural evolution of culture and even science: the end result is the birth of misshapen monsters, such as nuclear technology, the love child of war and the Leviathan. Allenby’s cyborg insects are the Bizarro World version of productive achievements: they are the cancer cure, the clean power source, the life affirming and life-prolonging innovations that might have been invented, but weren’t. Our elites glory in the term "technocrat" because it is synonymous with the kind of cool competence that supposedly elevates them above the common herd. Draping themselves in the mantle of science imbues their regime with an aura of ersatz legitimacy, the modern analogue of the divine right of kings. While tyrants of yore invoked Bible verses to justify the Crusades, their modern day equivalents rely on Power Point presentations of incomprehensible complexity and elaborate flowcharts. That’s "progress" for you. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Fast starts help squeeze watts
Sometimes referred to as the perfect engine, steam turbines rapidly replaced Newcomen’s and Watt’s steam engine, because they are much more efficient than their reciprocating-piston ancestors at converting heat into motion and motion into power. Their rotary action also became the power source of choice for driving generators to create electricity. Steam-powered turbines now generate some 80 percent of the world’s electricity and are expected to do so well into the future. Modern steam turbines are exposed to greater stresses than earlier versions. The quicker you can get a turbine up to operating conditions, the more energy you can produce. These rapid start-ups put tremendous thermal stresses on a turbine, though, as the temperature is raised by several hundred degrees in less than an hour. In the past, power providers took their time during start-ups—a typical start-up might have taken more than four hours—and as a result, stresses were much lower. But in the current competitive market, power plant operators do not have the luxury of time, and need to shave start-up time to maximize energy production and efficiency. Additionally, while power plants in the past ran continuously for long periods of time, modern plants and the steam turbines that drive them need to adapt to varying operating conditions: plants supplying peak power, for example, need to ramp up and down on almost a daily basis; Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP)—developed in the 1970s and now the most common plant being built—have both gas and steam turbines and need to switch regularly between the two power sources; and plants that provide backup for sustainable energy sources—such as wind and solar thermal—need to come online quickly when weather conditions change. In simplified terms, the rotor in a steam turbine is comprised of rows of rotating blades that capture the energy from high velocity steam jetted from stationary nozzles in between the rows. During transient events in the operation of a steam turbine, thermal stresses occur, causing high fatigue loading. The faster the transient event, the higher the fatigue loading. These stresses are especially prevalent in thick-walled components (such as rotors, valves, and casings). At the same time, turbines also experience gradual creep loading as a result of general operation at very high temperatures. Combining creep and fatigue loading over time puts stresses on the turbine, eventually leading to crack initiation and growth that can limit turbine lifespan. “As a result of the automated process, we were able to determine the fastest start-up parameters and process without exceeding stress limits," said Ehrsam. This led to a change in the design of the rotor grooves based on global deformation and heat flows. Rotor model stress profile detail of stresses near first blade groove at 60 minutes into start-up. Note the high stress in the bottom left corner of the groove. “Comparing the sequential versus automated method," Ehrsam said, “we demonstrated time-savings and improvements in accuracy using the automated tool." A typical time for a start-up optimization using the previous manual method was about 10 man-days. With the new automated tool, this was reduced to only five. The Alstom Power team validated the automated analysis against the previous process and found good agreement between results data. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Hacking is easy!
"You might as well give me the keys to your front door. I'm going to get into your system." - Full Article Source

HACKING IS EASY! from Airwave Ranger on Vimeo.

05/21/10 - Craig Venter creates synthetic life form
On May 20th, J. Craig Venter and his team at J.C Venter Institute announced the creation of a cell controlled by a synthetic genome in a paper published in SCIENCE. As science historian George Dyson points out, "from the point of view of technology, a code generated within a digital computer is now self-replicating as the genome of a line of living cells. From the point of view of biology, a code generated by a living organism has been translated into a digital representation for replication, editing, and transmission to other cells." This new development is all about operating on a large scale. "Reading the genetic code of a wide range of species," the paper says, "has increased exponentially from these early studies. Our ability to rapidly digitize genomic information has increased by more than eight orders of magnitude over the past 25 years " This is a big scaling up in our technological abilities. Physicist Freeman Dyson, commenting on the paper, notes that "the sequencing and synthesizing DNA give us all the tools we need to create new forms of life". But it remains to be seen how it will serve in practice. While it is correct to say that the individual cell was not created, a new line of cells (dare one say species?) was generated. This is new life that is self-propagating, i.e. "the cells with only the synthetic genome are self replicating and capable of logarithmic growth." - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - NYC sidewalk with a tourist lane
KeelyNet A merry prankster has painted a dividing line down the sidewalk beside New York's iconic Flatiron Building, on the Fifth Ave side; the line demarks two walking lanes: one for dawdling tourists, the other for briskly moving locals. - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Space Oddities
Mary Roach - one of my favorite science writers - has a book coming out this August. It's sort of like "The Right Stuff." But it's more like the weird stuff. The funny stuff. The gross stuff. The unexpected stuff. It's called "Packing for Mars," and it's all about those things NASA doesn't delve into at press conferences: boozing in space, sex in space, peeing in space, etc. Mary - whom you might know from her book about cadavers (Stiff) or her book about life after death (Spook) or her book about bonking (Bonk) -- sent me an early copy for blurbage purposes. Here's the five most important space nuggets I gleaned:

05/21/10 - Minesto Tidal Energy
Deep Green is based on a fundamentally new principle for electricity generation from tidal currents. The power plant is applicable in areas where no other known technology can operate cost effectively due to its unique ability to operate in low velocities. Minesto expands the total marine energy potential and offers a step change in cost for tidal energy. The principle of the technology can be explained as a two stage process. The first stage increases the relative flow speed entering a turbine. When the tide hits the wing it creates a lift force, since the kite is mounted to the ocean bed with a tether and is controlled by a rudder, the kite can be taken in the desired trajectory, here in an eight formed path. The method increases the flow velocity into the turbine by 10 times, compared to the actual stream velocity. The second stage uses a generator to convert kinetic energy into electrical power. The net result is increased power from a smaller package. The planned normal full size weighs only 7 tons excluding anchoring which gives an energetic payback time of 3 weeks, compared to 8 months for onshore wind. The test confirms power production of the plant at Marin in Holland. - Full Article Source

- Thanks for the email Olgha!

05/21/10 - Australia Air Travelers' Laptops To Be Searched For Porn
"Australian customs officers have been given the power to search incoming travelers' laptops and mobile phones for porn. Passengers must declare whether they are carrying pornography on their Incoming Passenger Card. The Australian government is also planning to implement an Internet filter. Once these powers are in places, who knows how they will be used." (Just leave people alone, its their lives, their interests, not the idiot government and nosey officials. - JWD) - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Websites That Don't Need to Be Made Anymore
KeelyNet They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a finite number of social networking or selling websites that the world needs. Here is a collection of the eight kinds of websites that absolutely don't need to be made anymore. I'd add dating sites and anybody who uses pop-up ads myself, but I think that would eliminate half the Web. (via slashdot.org) - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Why Overheard Cell Phone Chats Are Annoying
"American researchers think they have found the answer to the question of why overhearing cell phone chats are annoying. According to scientists at Cornell University, when only half of the conversation is overheard, it drains more attention and concentration than when overhearing two people talking. According to one researcher, 'We have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than when listening to a dialogue. Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can't tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated.' Their study will be published in the journal Psychological Science." - Full Article Source

05/21/10 - Current Cartoons

05/19/10 - Europeans Bury Equipment to read todays Digital Info in Time Capsule
"In a secret bunker deep in the Swiss Alps, European researchers deposited a 'digital genome' that will provide the blueprint for future generations to read data stored using defunct technology. The sealed box containing the key to unpick defunct digital formats will be locked away for the next quarter of a century behind a 3-1/2 ton door strong enough to resist nuclear attack at the data storage facility, known as the Swiss Fort Knox. The capsule is the culmination of the four-year 'Planets' project, which draws on the expertise of 16 European libraries, archives, and research institutions, to preserve the world's digital assets as hardware and software is superseded at a blistering pace. The project hopes to preserve 'data DNA,' the information and tools required to access and read historical digital material and prevent digital memory loss into the next century." - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Baloney Detection Kit
With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine lays out a "Baloney Detection Kit," ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim. The 10 Questions:

05/19/10 - Open Facebook Alternatives Gain Momentum, Funding
When Wired.com called for an open alternative to Facebook...lamenting the company’s untrammeled desire to control your online identity and reconfigure the world’s privacy norms, reader response was overwhelming, with hundreds of comments and ironically, thousands of “Like" votes on Facebook. Now, a group of four New York University students — who were working on just what we called for — have harnessed that dissatisfaction in the form of more than $115,000 [$171,000 at time of post] in crowdsourced funding for their distributed, social networking system called Diaspora. That’s the equivalent of a significant angel round of funding in the internet startup world, and their fundraising on the Kickstarter crowdsourced funding site has...days to go. It’s also an impressive for a project proposal from four students who say they aren’t going to start coding until they graduate from college this summer. And a testament to how strongly that a growing number of people want an alternative to a centralized and dominant social networking site... - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Quit Facebook Day - May 31, 2010
Why are we quitting? For us it comes down to two things: fair choices and best intentions. In our view, Facebook doesn't do a good job in either department. Facebook gives you choices about how to manage your data, but they aren't fair choices, and while the onus is on the individual to manage these choices, Facebook makes it damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this. We also don't think Facebook has much respect for you or your data, especially in the context of the future. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - The hidden roots of the 23 Enigma
KeelyNet In the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea I first encountered the rudiments of the 23 enigma. As the history of the origin of the 23 enigma has it, Robert Anton Wilson first heard of this puzzling bit of Forteana from William Burroughs. Writes Wilson in the May, 2007 issue of Fortean Times:

05/19/10 - Cactus gum could make clean water cheap for millions
Many water purification methods introduced into the developing world are quickly abandoned as people don't know how to use and maintain them, says Norma Alcantar at the University of South Florida in Tampa. So she and her colleagues decided to investigate the prickly pear cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica, which 19th-century Mexican communities used as a water purifier. The cactus is found across the globe. The team extracted the cactus's mucilage - the thick gum the plant uses to store water. They then mixed this with water to which they had added high levels of either sediment or the bacterium Bacillus cereus. Alcantar found that the mucilage acted as a flocculant, causing the sediment particles to join together and settle to the bottom of the water samples. The gum also caused the bacteria to combine and settle, allowing 98 per cent of bacteria to be filtered from the water (Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/es9030744). They now intend to test it on natural water. Householders in the developing world could boil a slice of cactus to release the mucilage and add it to water in need of purification, says Alcantar. "The cactus's prevalence, affordability and cultural acceptance make it an attractive natural material for water purification technologies." - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Easily the hottest April — and hottest Jan-April — in temperature record
KeelyNet It was the hottest April on record in the NASA dataset. More significantly, following fast on the heels of the hottest March and hottest Jan-Feb-March on record, it’s also the hottest Jan-Feb-March-April on record [click on figure to enlarge]. The record temperatures we’re seeing now are especially impressive because we’ve been in “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century." It now appears to be over. It’s just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, well, other than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is. Most significantly, NASA’s March prediction has come true: “It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010.? Software engineer (and former machinist mate in the US Navy) Timothy Chase put together a spreadsheet using the data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In NASA’s dataset, the 12-month running average temperature record was actually just barely set in March — and then easily set in April. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Federal War on Salt Could Spoil Country Hams
If the food police get their way, North Carolinians can kiss their country hams, bacon, and fresh Bright Leaf hot dogs goodbye. These Southern specialties might not disappear altogether, but, if the health agency’s crusade against salt is successful, they never would taste the same again. The Washington Post reports that the Food and Drug Administration plans an unprecedented effort to reduce gradually Americans’ salt consumption. In April, the Institute of Medicine advised the FDA to lower the recommended daily intake of sodium for individuals from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg. It also recommended setting maximum legal limits on salt in all packaged and restaurant foods. The plan is “to slowly ratchet down the sodium level, so people won’t notice the change," said Christina DeWitt, a food scientist on the IOM advisory panel. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - 'Really Fast' Self-balancing Scooter
KeelyNet This self-balancing scooter was designed to go curb hopping and through the sand. It is exceedingly fast. The hardware is from an open source project. Since 2009 I have added a reclining camping chair for comfort and a joystick for control. Far more fun to drive laying down than standing! Also since 2009 I have added lithium cells to power the scooter. This scooter is also radio controlled! / Saturday the scooter had the lounge chair on it and was a joy to drive around. So much more comfy. My lower back got sore, but with a rolled up jacket for lumbar support is was solved. The crowds reaction to a lay down self balancing scooter was incredible! I was asked questions all day and evening long. Toward the end of the day the joystick control was getting very twitchy left and right. As I recall, the increase from 22v to 30-32v accounted for most of the twitchyness. Sure feels like EMI. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Doomsayers Beware, a Bright Future Beckons
Rulers like to take credit for the advances during their reigns, and scientists like to see their theories as the source of technological progress. But Dr. Ridley argues that they’ve both got it backward: traders’ wealth builds empires, and entrepreneurial tinkerers are more likely to inspire scientists than vice versa. From Stone Age seashells to the steam engine to the personal computer, innovation has mostly been a bottom-up process. “Empires bought stability at the price of creating a parasitic court; monotheistic religions bought social cohesion at the expense of a parasitic priestly class; nationalism bought power at the expense of a parasitic military; socialism bought equality at the price of a parasitic bureaucracy; capitalism bought efficiency at the price of parasitic financiers." Progress this century could be impeded by politics, wars, plagues or climate change, but Dr. Ridley argues that, as usual, the “apocaholics" are overstating the risks and underestimating innovative responses. “The modern world is a history of ideas meeting, mixing, mating and mutating," Dr. Ridley writes. “And the reason that economic growth has accelerated so in the past two centuries is down to the fact that ideas have been mixing more than ever before." Our progress is unsustainable, he argues, only if we stifle innovation and trade, the way China and other empires did in the past. With new hubs of innovation emerging elsewhere, and with ideas spreading faster than ever on the Internet, Dr. Ridley expects bottom-up innovators to prevail. His prediction for the rest of the century: “Prosperity spreads, technology progresses, poverty declines, disease retreats, fecundity falls, happiness increases, violence atrophies, freedom grows, knowledge flourishes, the environment improves and wilderness expands." - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Composing music with the Force Trainer
In the ongoing quest to make the Force Trainer useful [Hunter Scott] developed a music composition platform for your mind (channel Jack Black’s voice for the last half of that sentence). Using the Force Trainer’s serial port [Hunter] feeds the data stream into a computer via an FTDI cable and uses Processing to make the music. It’s good, and the demos on his site are worth the click, but we still can’t get enough of the shocking video from back in March. But we digress, let [Hunter] walk you through his setup in the video. - Full Article Source

Patients no longer fear the semi-annual visit. The movies, projected on the office ceiling, divert the patients’ attention as the doctor fixes their teeth. Mickey Mouse and Popeye the Sailor pictures are most popular with the younger patients, according to the doctor.

Dr. Lawrence J. Obrey of Boston is shown engaged in examining a young patient's teeth, while the youth, unmindful of the hum of the dental drill, watches movies flashed on the ceiling to divert his attention from possible pain. Cartoon comedies are most popular. Each reel runs 20 minutes or the duration of one visit. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Mobile 'Remote Wipe' Thwarts Secret Service
"Smartphones that offer the ability to 'remote wipe' are great for when your device goes missing and you want to delete your data so that someone else can't look at it, but not so great for the United States Secret Service, ZDNet reports. The ability to 'remote wipe' some smartphones such as BlackBerry and iPhone was causing havoc for law enforcement agencies, according to USSS special agent Andy Kearns, speaking on mobile phone forensics at a security conference in Australia." - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - Charlie Daniels' on Illegal Immigrants - Mexican Standoff
KeelyNet A commentary said to be written by country music star Charlie Daniels. The Truth: Charlie Daniels is famous for his outspoken opinions on social issues. This particular piece about illegal immigration is posted on his website at http://www.charliedaniels.com/. / I don’t blame anybody in the world for wanting to come to the United States of America, as it is a truly wonderful place. But when the first thing you do when you set foot on American soil is illegal it is flat out wrong and I don’t care how many lala land left heads come out of the woodwork and start trying to give me sensitivity lessons. I don’t need sensitivity lessons, in fact I don’t have anything against Mexicans, I just have something against criminals and anybody who comes into this country illegally is a criminal and if you don’t believe it try coming into America from a foreign country without a passport and see how far you get. What disturbs me about the demonstrations is that it’s tantamount to saying, “I am going to come into your country even if it means breaking your laws and there’s nothing you can do about it." It’s an “in your face" action and speaking just for me I don’t like it one little bit and if there were a half dozen pairs of gonads in Washington bigger than English peas it wouldn’t be happening. What ever happened to the polls guys? I thought you folks were the quintessential finger wetters. Well you sure ain’t paying any attention to the polls this time because somewhere around eighty percent of Americans want something done about this mess, and mess it is and getting bigger everyday. This is no longer a problem, it is a dilemma and headed for being a tragedy. Do you honestly think that what happened in France with the Muslims can’t happen here when the businesses who hire these people finally run out of jobs and a few million disillusioned Hispanics take to the streets? If you, Mr. President, Congressmen and Senators, knuckle under on this and refuse to do something meaningful it means that you care nothing for the kind of country your children and grandchildren will inherit. But I guess that doesn’t matter as long as you get re-elected. Shame on you. - Full Article Source

05/19/10 - "Fair Trolls" To Fight Patents With Patents
"Can a patent troll ever be fair? Yes. The primary concern over the upcoming Defensive Patent License — a GPL-like non-aggression pact for patents — is that it might be too defensive to have the desired impact. But actually the DPL could grow very big if one or more 'Fair Trolls' are brought to life and enforce patents against companies that don't support the DPL. The 'Fair Trolls' would commit to the DPL's terms, so they would have to leave other DPL backers alone. In exchange for this, the community would gladly feed them with patentable ideas (financial rewards for contributors included). Over time, staying outside the DPL alliance would become a costly choice for companies whose products might infringe patents. The bigger the DPL pool gets, the more valuable it becomes to its members. The more aggressive the Fair Trolls are, the better for the cause." - Full Article Source

05/18/10 - KeelyNet news text running off the edge in Explorer
Apparently there is a glitch with Explorer but NOT FIREFOX, where the right hand text disappears off the edge of this page...working on it, thanks! Update 5 minutes later - the fix was to remove the table width of 750 which allows crappy Explorer to self adjust. Always like to learn something new everyday! - Update 5:30PM - it worked fine this morning with IE8 and Firefox but this afternoon only in IE8 it is losing text again. Trying to figure it out and puzzled why it worked at 8AM! / Update 6PM - Put all the news in its own table and justified the text to look nicer, but of course BUGGY IE8 doesn't allow justify but it does now show all the text. Time to update to Firefox guys, Explorer is and always has been junk. Hope this does it.

05/17/10 - On the Perils of Eavesdropping
...nuff said...(Thanks to Norm Wootan for this hilarious headsup! - JWD) - Full Article Source

What happened to our beloved
United States of America?


From the Simpsons: "The potential for mischief varies inversely with one's proximity to the authority figure."
Ellen Glasgow "The only difference between
a rut and a grave...is the depth."
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Cree Indian Prophecy
Only after the Last Tree has been cut down,
Only after the Last River has been poisoned,
Only after the Last Fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that
Money Cannot Be Eaten.

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