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Two foreigners among seven dead in NWA drone strikes
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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3 00:00 Rambler in Virginia [274]
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Bangla cracks down on honkers
[Bangla Daily Star] A mobile court yesterday penalised motor vehicle owners with fines in the city's Agargaon area for using horns beyond permissible sound limit, emitting black smokes and possessing fake documents.
Fred, go to your room.
Department of Environment (DoE) along with Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and traffic police conducted the drive led by Executive Magistrate Sharifa Ahmed.

The court penalised 21 vehicles, including buses, lorries, covered vans and cars and realised Tk 28,800 in fine under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1983 and the Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and other relevant rules.

Eight of the vehicles have been fined for noise pollution while four for emitting black smokes, said DoE Deputy Director Sukumar Biswas.
Posted by: Fred || 09/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [423 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Uh, Fred, it took me quite awhile to realize the article was not about the picture. Then disappointment...
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 09/08/2009 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  I've always meant to ask, but where did that picture come from?
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 09/08/2009 15:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I have no idea. Somebody emailed it to me.
Posted by: Fred || 09/08/2009 16:58 Comments || Top||

#4  A good intel guy never gives up his source. Good on you Fred.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/08/2009 17:34 Comments || Top||

#5  TW,

This is Fred's room.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 09/08/2009 20:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Sniff, sniff, its been awhile since we last saw 'em. CUE GOVERNOR MEL "DADDY'S MISSED YOU" BROOKS ON "BLAZNG SADDLES"!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 09/08/2009 22:20 Comments || Top||

#7  This is Fred's room.

True, Eric, and a quandary. The combination of verbal and visual puns is the kind of thing that sends people fleeing out the nearest exit, and today is his birthday. What is one to say in such a situation?
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/08/2009 22:39 Comments || Top||

#8  my 50th was Saturday, so besides a twisted sense of humor, Fred and I have a bit more in common
Posted by: Frank G || 09/08/2009 22:53 Comments || Top||

#9  May your second half century be even more fun, Frank!
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/08/2009 23:26 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Egypt threatens mobile phone operators
Egypt is threatening to punish mobile phone operators with a freeze on new customer lines if they keep prices lower after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Main operators Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt have offered customers phone calls as cheap as five piastres (one cent) a minute during Ramadan, which ends by September 20. Vodafone and Etisalat Egypt have also slashed roaming fees to about nine cents a minute for subscribers receiving calls from Egypt while on pilgrimage to Islam's holiest places in Saudi Arabia.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Tareq Kamel said the offers were harming other companies, apparently referring to the government's landline operator Telecom Egypt, independent daily Al-Masry Al-Yom reported. State-news agency MENA reported that Kamel had agreed in a meeting with the companies' representatives to allow them to continue their offers until Ramadan ends.
They're going to give Bambi ideas with these threats against private telecomms ...
Telecom Egypt reported in July that it had lost 1.5 million subscribers, but Kamel said at a news conference on Monday that he was confident that they would renew their subscriptions, MENA reported.
Posted by: ryuge || 09/08/2009 07:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


Bangladesh
Orphanage case goes to trial
[Bangla Daily Star] A Dhaka court yesterday took into cognisance the charges against former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and four others in a case for embezzlement of Tk 2.10 crore by forming Zia Orphanage Trust.
Posted by: Fred || 09/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:


Caribbean-Latin America
Mexico Replaces Attorney General as Drug Violence Soars
MEXICO CITY -- President Felipe Calderón on Monday replaced his longtime attorney general, one of the key figures in his government's effort to bring Mexico's powerful drug cartels to heel, as the country's drug violence continues to spiral.

In a short speech, Mr. Calderón said Arturo Chavez, a former attorney general of northern Chihuahua state, was replacing Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora. Chihuahua's largest city, Ciudad Juarez, has become the epicenter of Mexico's drug violence. Just last week, gunmen took over a drug rehabilitation center there and executed 18 patients, marking a new and grisly milestone in the country's drug violence.

Mr. Calderón also announced changes at the agriculture ministry and at state oil company Pemex. Mr. Calderón named former Pemex Chief Financial Officer Juan José Suarez Coppel as the company's new chief executive, taking over from Jesús Reyes Heroles, a former energy minister. Mr. Suarez Coppel takes the reins at a tough time for the oil giant: Output has fallen to 2.5 million barrels a day from a peak of 3.4 million in 2004 amid a dramatic decline in output from Mexico's main oil field, Cantarell.

The changes come as Mr. Calderón tries to regain political traction following July midterm legislative elections in which his center-right National Action Party suffered a major defeat to the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, which now has the most seats in the lower house of Congress.

Since coming to power in 2006, Mr. Calderón has made the fight against Mexico's warring cartels the centerpiece of his policy. He has deployed an estimated 40,000 soldiers to cities like Ciudad Juarez to take on the drug gangs, using soldiers instead of often-corrupt local police.

More than 13,000 people have died since Mr. Calderon took office, according to newspaper estimates, most victims of internecine warfare between drug cartels fighting over drug routes to the U.S. and increasingly lucrative Mexican drug markets.

Mr. Medina Mora's departure is a boost for Public Security Minister Genaro García Luna: The two men had clashed over Mr. García Luna's plans to create a single national police force under his command. Mexico's Congress killed that plan, but Mr. García Luna has begun creating a de facto national police, his new Federal Police force.
Posted by: Steve White || 09/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No matter, Mexico remains a narcostate. Cartels and Los Zetas rule. Who they can't buy off they kill. Oh for the simpler scandals of Lo Negro Durazo...
Posted by: borgboy || 09/08/2009 14:14 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
China's new special forces marching into view
China's young and mysterious special forces are likely to grab plenty of attention on Oct 1 when they march in a military parade for the first time.

The elite troops, drawn for the assignment from the ranks of the Beijing Military Command Area, are currently completing intensive training at a parade village in Shahe, in northern Beijing, ahead of their first appearance - at the National Day parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China.

"This will be the first time we have attended such a parade," said Zhao Zemin, the square commissar. "We're honored to be taking part, but the practice has been difficult."

China's special forces, which were established in the 1980s, are among the newest branches in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The highly trained team is usually used for specialized operations where the risks are high, such as reconnaissance work, unconventional warfare, direct action and counterterrorism operations.

Ever since the force was founded, its members have kept relatively low key and, so far, representatives have not appeared in public at any of China's military parades, including the massive event in 1999 held to mark the People's Republic of China's 50th birthday.

Zhao said preparation for the Oct 1 parade had been particularly hard on the soldiers of the special forces because its members have focused in the past on tactical training and on handling emergencies but not on parade-ground training.

"One is dynamic, and the other is static. It's just like asking vigorous young men to do embroidery," he said.

Liang Pengju, a soldier who will be taking part in the parade, said he had received very little formation drill training before entering the village for the intensive practice.

He said soldiers from the special forces are accustomed to being very flexible and to walking with their toes pointing outwards, to minimize the sound of their footsteps.

"A special forces soldier's body is usually in the shape of a bow," Liang said. "That's why, in formation drills, we always have problems with our heads, feet and upper bodies."

However, Zhao said another aspect of the special forces is the indomitable will of the team, and that persistence of spirit is ensuring everyone works hard at the training sessions.

Lei Haibing, a member of the team and also a drillmaster, rarely goes to bed before midnight. In addition to taking part in the training, he spends long hours planning the training for the next day.

"Although we're not familiar with formation drills, we're now a part of the parade and we will make sure we do everything that is required of us," he said.

Liu Wenhu, another member of the team, said he has worn out seven pairs of military boots and 15 pairs of shoe-pads within five months since he practiced his marching.

"We represent all special soldiers in the army," he said. "We cannot fail, and we will not fail."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 09/08/2009 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Liu Wenhu, another member of the team, said he has worn out seven pairs of military boots and 15 pairs of shoe-pads within five months since he practiced his marching.

But the toes are still serviceable.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/08/2009 4:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Liu Wenhu, another member of the team, said he has worn out seven pairs of military boots and 15 pairs of shoe-pads within five months since he practiced his marching.

1. Knock out China's less-than-mediocre boot factories at the start of hostilities and its army will be on its knees within a month.

2. Doesn't sound like elite training to me.
Posted by: Bulldog || 09/08/2009 12:30 Comments || Top||

#3  What the hell is a 'parade village'?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/08/2009 13:23 Comments || Top||


China training, arming militants against India
China denies incursions by its troops into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control. But NDTV has exclusive information that China is actively training and arming insurgent groups in Manipur and Nagaland.

On video, an alleged Manipur militant is interrogated. Intelligence officials say he confirms that China is training Manipuri militants.

Sources say at least 400 cadre of a Manipuri insurgent group, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), have been undergoing arms training in China's Yunnan province for the last year. Ronie, alias Robindro, a self-styled major of the Manipur PLA, brags "16 platoon went to China recently, some of them have come back."

The insurgents travel to Yunnan via Myanmar. Arms for these militants also come via this route. And China's role doesn't stop at training militants.

Issac Chisi Swu, chairman of the NSCN, a Naga insurgent group, which is still upholding a ceasefire with India, has been hosted in Beijing and Kunming this May. His main officer in charge of acquiring weapons has also been twice to China.

According to intelligence operatives, a Chinese company supplies machine guns and hi-tech communication equipment to both Naga and Manipuri militants. Anti-aircraft guns have also been acquired from China by these groups, which are currently in Myanmar.

The arrested Manipuri militant has told interrogators that the PLA and other Manipuri groups are being armed and trained by Chinese experts in Myanmar. This is apparently in preparation for a major showdown with Indian security forces next year.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 09/08/2009 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only surprise here is that they got someone to say it out loud.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 09/08/2009 13:51 Comments || Top||

#2  ION SINA, PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUM > CHINA OPPOSES US EMBASSY EXPANSION PLAN, "AFPAK" AND G4 IN UNSC [UNSC Membership-Seat], in favor of the "United 40" Countries = U40; + US: SERIOUS MILITANT THREAT TO NATO SUPPLIES AND BALOCHISTAN GAME PLAN. US desires GWADAR = ALTERN LOGISTICS PORT in PK thru Balochistan/Baluchistan.

* D *** NG IT, AND MTV'S "U2"???

Also, WMF > JAPAN, NOT RUSSIA, SHOULD BE CHINA'S MAIN ALLY IN ASIA; + US WARNING: CHINA HAS 200 CRUISE MISSLES TO USE IN WAR AGZ INDIA.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 09/08/2009 19:29 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
When Bush Spoke To Students, Democrats Investigated, Held Hearings
The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning.

Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.
The Democrat way, hold a hearing here, hold a hearing there, here a hearing, there a hearing, everywhere a hearing
It's different now, of course. They'll explain why once Rahm tells 'em what to say ...
Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported.
I'll bet a nickel, that Obama will also have students as props. Hope they can stay awake while on camera
With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. "And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'"

Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech.

"The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC," Ford began. "As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."

Unfortunately for Ford, the General Accounting Office concluded that the Bush administration had not acted improperly. "The speech itself and the use of the department's funds to support it, including the cost of the production contract, appear to be legal," the GAO wrote in a letter to Chairman Ford. "The speech also does not appear to have violated the restrictions on the use of appropriations for publicity and propaganda."

That didn't stop Democratic allies from taking their own shots at Bush. The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it "cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers' money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C. -- while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters."
From today's NEA website -- NEA has developed and discovered resources to help address and extend some of the ideas in the President's speech. The following activities are ideas teachers can use throughout the school year to build students' awareness of some of the themes from the President's speech. NEA will be adding to these during the course of the year.

Just a guess on my part, in 1991 is wasn't okay for the President to address the nations' school children. In 2009, it is great the President is addressing the nations' school children, and NEA will continue to pass out study guides through out the year, for more "teaching moments" based on the speech -- hummmm

Lost in all the denouncing and investigating was the fact that Bush's speech itself, like Obama's today, was entirely unremarkable. "Block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart," the president told students. "If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they're stuck in a dead end job. Don't let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams.
Posted by: Sherry || 09/08/2009 10:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [602 views] Top|| File under:


Highway Stimulus a "Smashing Sucess"
Highway officials representing a dozen states took time out from a two-day conference to praise the $26.8 billion federal stimulus spending on state roads and bridges. The highway program is part of the $787 billion American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
3.4% of the total that was actually stimulating.
The stimulus program directed at roads and bridges has been a "smashing success," said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, during a news conference Tuesday at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

Mississippi accomplished about six months of road and bridge construction beyond its regularly scheduled work with the federal funding, said Larry "Butch" Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The news conference on the highway spending was made during a meeting of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which was attended by about 1,200 people.
Posted by: Bobby || 09/08/2009 05:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [408 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Car pool lanes...coming to a freeway near you.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 09/08/2009 15:45 Comments || Top||

#2  As of earlier this month about 80% of the highway and transit related stimulus funding had been 'obligated'. This means the States had submitted plans, estimates and specs and the feds had approved them. However, only about 10% of the funds were 'spent'. Construction takes a long time and it is a reimbursement program.
Of course the AASHTO people love it, partly because it is 100% federal funds (no state or local match).
Posted by: lord garth || 09/08/2009 15:59 Comments || Top||

#3  My Egg's haven't hatched yet. In fact my chicken hasn't even laid any... however I did buy a chicken and I'm sure it'll lay thousands of eggs a week once it gets started....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/08/2009 16:47 Comments || Top||

#4  I-95 Sluggers MUST PAY! License them immediately.

Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it’s FREE! Not only is it free, but it gets people to and from work faster than the typical bus, metro, or train. It's unique because it is not a government sponsored commuter program, but one created out of ingenuity from local citizens to solve commuter problems.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/08/2009 17:28 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm just like you, CF - except I'm at the stage where I'm planning on buying a chicken....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 09/08/2009 19:12 Comments || Top||

#6  It isn't unique to the DC area. The SF/Oakland area has slug lines too. In fact, because carpools get to drive on the SF/Oakland Bay Bridge for free, and slug lines caused carpools to form, SF and Oakland lost a lot of revenue. So, SF and Oakland once tried to ban the slug line rendezvous.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 09/08/2009 20:59 Comments || Top||


Oregon Governor Kulongoski poised to push 'reset' - other states considering similar actions
Looks like some are starting to get it. But I'm sure they'll figure out a way to fuc& it up somehow.
On the very day that his predecessor announced hopes to be his successor, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signaled that he still has an important role to play in the final 16 months of his second term.

That work, and what the next governor does with it, could result in a reshaped and reduced state government.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: gorb || 09/08/2009 01:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You have to just to love this sort of brilliant, in-depth reporting:

The process could result in changes such as further loosening state requirements on Oregon's largest universities because "loosening restrictions will ...will... not sure exactly what it will do, but it must be a good thing.

doing something with federal restrictions on a myriad of health and human services programs, yes, doing "something" is a brilliant idea.

or altering mandatory minimum sentences for violent offenders who account for 40 percent of a state prison population that has more than doubled since 1995. Because once we get free health care from the federal government, it won't cost the State nearly as much to pay for the result of all of those violent crimes.

Good to know that Ted has signaled he is really going to shake things up by naming a seven member panel to make more "sweeping recommendations".

It is all so clear to me now.
Posted by: Jumbo Slinerong5015 || 09/08/2009 5:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Good to know that Ted has signaled he is really going to shake things up by naming a seven member panel to make more "sweeping recommendations".

Nothing says 'leadership' like another panel or advisory group.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/08/2009 7:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Reset only sets things back to the baseline. If the baseline is crap, you will still be in trouble.

Cut taxes, slash spending on absolutely unnecessary stuff and you will see your economy turn around.
Posted by: DarthVader || 09/08/2009 7:08 Comments || Top||

#4  ...and remove ego stroking anti-business legislation that drives jobs and income out of the state.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/08/2009 8:08 Comments || Top||

#5  There is still no political recognition that "business as usual" cannot be maintained. Though the federal government is the worst example by far, and Obama is all in favor of rationing everything to the people, the truth is that the only thing that must be rationed is government.

Literally, government must be prioritized from top to bottom, with both *closed* federal and State constitutional requirements at the top. By "closed" I mean those that have fixed, not variable costs.

The next level are those self-imposed, but non-constitutional legal requirements. These must be debated, because being outside of the constitution they can be reduced or eliminated.

The level below that are constitutionally mandated, but variable costs, such as, at the State level, public education. These are often bloated with extra funding, and States could cut long and hard through the fat before they reached the muscle. Usually the largest single State budget item, this is where most of the savings come from. Most bloat is in administration, not classroom instruction.

Finally, the lowest level is the vast number of largesse laws, business tax abatement, non-essential services, etc., etc., etc. Most of which can be suspended without major consequences.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 09/08/2009 10:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Oregon is by nature hostile to businesses and they don't even know it. They have a few darlings that they try not to pi$$ off more than usual, but trying to run any other sort of business usually sucks because the state is so miserable regarding taxes, paperwork, licensure requirements, and poor response from government regarding licensure issues and nonexistant oversight of broken and corrupt licensure agencies. They also feel that they need to be on the forefront as far as licensing requirements for everything go, and the legislators have no clue as to the resulting kinds of BS business owners have to deal with rather than run their business.

These problems need to go away before Oregon will ever go anywhere.

I also have a feeling this problem is not entirely limited to Oregon.
Posted by: gorb || 09/08/2009 10:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Anonymoose
Government run education is a disaster. Just make parents pay for their own childrens education directly.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 09/08/2009 10:45 Comments || Top||

#8  The only way I see Oregon getting out of it's liberal induced depression is for a real change in our politics. Don't see that happening, especially since Ted's hotest replacement candidate is the retread Dr. Cool Kitzhaber. Going against liberal politics in Oregon is like pi$$ing into the wind. While you may feel some relief, you still end up all wet.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 09/08/2009 11:38 Comments || Top||

#9  I've lived & worked in Oregon my whole life. I don't need to read the article to tell you that the state is dominated by the public & teacher's employee unions. Liberals in this state are still living in fantasy land, the latest great fantasy being that they think they can 'not' build power plants for the impending 2000 megawatt need by 2020 and solve 85% of the shorfall of need by conservation. (seriously)

Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better, but this stranglehold cannot be released without the system having 'broken'.

Bambi & crew are operating off a template and it's my belief they intend to break the system to have government fill the void with more government.

This state's on the fast track to mediocrity (but the has the most expensive per-capita mass transit system) and they didn't even plan it.

SNAFU

(Note: If this country is genuinely 60%+ conservative, those LINOs & PINOs better get off their duff soon, or it won't matter that a liberal is standing shoulder to shoulder with me in a year; I'll still deck the crap out of him)

btw, I am a small businessman/entrepreneur
carving a living out of a diminishing disposable income, not sucking a DROP of the public stimulus tit...
Posted by: logi_cal || 09/08/2009 22:00 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Pregnant woman killed for changing sect
Ayesha Obaid, a pregnant woman who was seriously injured by gunmen in a Mirpurkhas village on Friday, died on Sunday night at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). Ayesha married Hassan Raza on June 25, and the two had been moving from town to town because Ayesha had changed her sect from Sunni to Shia, invoking the ire of her father, Qari Obaidullah. Hassan told reporters on Monday that he had sent Ayesha, his second wife, to live with a relative in Mirpurkhas after their house in Landhi was set on fire a few days ago, adding that he too was in hiding with his first wife and children. Hassan has appealed to the authorities for protection, fearing a reprisal from Ayesha's family.
Posted by: Fred || 09/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Orcs.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 09/08/2009 4:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Ayesha had changed her sect from Sunni to Shia

Shows what I know. I thought mooselimbs just got bunched up when anyone changed from islam to anything else.
Posted by: JohnQC || 09/08/2009 8:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Just out of curiousity, would it be possible to have separate headings for India & Pakiwaki? It's hard to know where these stories originate.

On another topic, I think that your picture is a gratuitous insult to cave men, equating them with Muzzies?????
Posted by: AlanC || 09/08/2009 8:50 Comments || Top||


Science & Technology
Harnassing 'Dark Matter' for Power
Since 1991, BlackLight's founder says his company has raised $60 million from private investors who have included - on a personal basis - the former chairman of Morgan Stanley, Dick Fisher, and the bank's now retired head of energy. Mills says his goal is to produce a 250 kilowatt prototype by end-2010.
Among new energy fixes presented to Reuters in recent days is U.S.-based BlackLight Power.

The company says it may have tapped the energy that cosmologists have struggled to explain, called dark matter, which fills the universe. The concept involves shifting electrons in hydrogen molecules - obtained cheaply from water - into a lower orbit, releasing energy in the process.
Since obtaining hydrogen from water is energy negative, perhaps this new form will make it energy-neutral.
"It represents a boundless form of new primary energy," Randell Mills, founder and chief executive, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I think it's going to replace all forms of fuel in the world."

Britain's top science academy, the Royal Society, this week urged more funds be channeled into research on geoengineering, but for some climate commentators the unproven, technical solutions smack of society's craving for pain-free get-outs. They note politicians may prefer to feed that habit rather than face tough choices in redressing global warming.
Can't have a solution without pain.
Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr says geoengineering projects will be seized upon by polluters as a quick fix, and the former climate change adviser to oil firm BP said they are simplistic.

"People are being naive ... looking for a technological fix," said Chris Mottershead, who is now head of research and innovation at King's College London. "Anything of the necessary scale will have its own unintended consequences, even if they are not recognized at the moment."
The only answer is to return to the caves as hunter-gatherers.
He pointed out that the age of nuclear energy - a radical carbon-free energy concept that humanity has tried and tested - is still waiting to be reborn, mainly because of political and social concerns. The estimated capital cost of the energy at $500/KW would be less than coal power, one of the cheapest forms of energy now. Several utilities have bought licenses, in case it works.
But nukes are cheaper still, and breeder reactors even cheaper. Thanks, Jimmy Carter.
Last month New Jersey-based Rowan University engineers said the BlackLight process in the lab had produced heat some 1.6-6.5 times beyond levels that can be easily explained.
I like math because it is so precise.
"It does portend some type of novel energy source," said Peter Jansson, associate engineering professor at Rowan
I never did see how dark energy was involved. Maybe only in the journalist's mind?
Posted by: Bobby || 09/08/2009 05:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [571 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Spent $ 60m since 1991. No BlackLight 1.0 no beta? More money needed or no prototype until 2010? Sounds like a project only a university based, computer software developer could love.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/08/2009 5:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Harvesting the money from the gullible.

Where's the "Oh No Not this sh1t again" picture?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 09/08/2009 7:18 Comments || Top||

#3  It doesnt matter
Posted by: badanov || 09/08/2009 7:47 Comments || Top||

#4  the former chairman of Morgan Stanley - nuff said.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/08/2009 7:55 Comments || Top||

#5  Because finance people know all about physics...
Posted by: 3dc || 09/08/2009 7:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Just more hair-shirt environmentalism - the little people must suffer for their sins!
Posted by: Spot || 09/08/2009 8:15 Comments || Top||

#7  could someone please explain 3 things?

1) What exactly is Dark Matter? i.e does it have mass?
2) What exactly is Dark Energy?
3) What is it about Dark Energy & Dark Matter that is so different from the old concept of aether that Mich & Morl were supposed to have debunked?

This sounds like more cold fusion to me.
Posted by: AlanC || 09/08/2009 8:42 Comments || Top||

#8  Of course, there could be more cold dark baryonic matter out there than people think.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 09/08/2009 9:09 Comments || Top||

#9  Now, if we could harness the energy from all the bullshit spouted by snake oil salesmen and politicians, we would have unlimited and renewable energy!
Posted by: DarthVader || 09/08/2009 9:17 Comments || Top||

#10  10. Come over to the Dark Side, Luke!
Posted by: Fred || 09/08/2009 9:42 Comments || Top||

#11  AlanC 1) Somehow or another there seems to be extra mass around that is neither glowing nor blocking light. It's been suspected for over a century--stars orbiting in a galaxy move faster than they ought to based on estimates of the amount of visible matter. That might just mean that we didn't understand gravity at large distances, of course.
Recently studies of light-bending by colliding galaxies show separation of the dark and normal matter distributions. Normal matter from each galaxy interacted (friction) and moved more slowly but the dark matter didn't interact (much?) and flew on through, resulting in separation. You can reconstruct where the mass is from how light from more distant galaxies is bent, and there are blobs of mass where there are no stars. It looks like something is really there, and we're not simply looking at modifications of gravity.
Theories of the expansion of the universe seem to require more matter too, but direct experimental results seem more compelling than theories.
2) Nobody knows. Whatever it is it doesn't interact very strongly with light. That means it isn't charged, and it also hasn't a structure that is easily excited by low energy light. (eg, not neutral hydrogen)
3) It isn't spread uniformly through the universe, but clumps (gravitationally) around galaxies.

There are a few interesting results (the DAMA experiment series on the positive side--others negative) looking for the dark matter particles. They are very hard to detect, and I can't think of any way of harnessing them or easily extracting energy.

FWIW, the study of cold fusion is based on reasonable physics: the probability of fusion goes up if you can increase the density of hydrogen. The probability isn't very high, but it is measurable, and Jones (betrayed by Pons and Fleischmann) had gotten some reasonable-looking numbers; consistent with a slightly increased nuclear overlap and nowhere near the level needed to harness for energy production. (Jones has since gone nuts and is a truther.)
Posted by: James || 09/08/2009 10:06 Comments || Top||

#12  What I want to know is: Can it power my warp-engine prototype? I tried cold fusion but all it did was tie all the turbans within an 8,000 mile radius in a knot.
Posted by: gorb || 09/08/2009 10:21 Comments || Top||

#13  "The only answer is to return to the caves as hunter-gatherers."

I used to know some feminists that said that the phrase 'hunter-gather' was sexists since women were the gatherers. They wanted the phrase to be 'gather-hunters'.
Posted by: lord garth || 09/08/2009 10:33 Comments || Top||

#14  Blacklight's technology sounds a lot like the much derided cold fusion experiments.

There was definitely something in cold fusion, although exactly what wasn't clear.

Blacklight already have 5,000 and 50,000 watt prototypes. So it doesn't sound completely fraudulent.
Posted by: phil_b || 09/08/2009 10:48 Comments || Top||

#15  "...it can't be completely fraudulent"

Unless you've checked the rig yourself, I wouldn't say that; I suspect they're completely fraudulent myself.

Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 09/08/2009 10:55 Comments || Top||

#16  James, thank you for the answer. Unfortunately the only thing I can derive from it is that I need to drink more.

The following is an e-mail from a NASA physicist when I asked a similar question. Maybe you can make some sense of it. I would love to have the money to buy a professional phyicist (or two) to answer all my wacko questions....maybe if I win the lottery.

With respect to the curvature of space/time in the universe as a whole,
> the total warping of space/time comes not only from the "normal" mass,
> but from the total mass-energy density of the universe. When that total
>
> energy density is calculated, if it is exactly equal to a certain
> critical density, then space/time is "flat" or "Euclidean". Currently,
> that is thought to be the case -- that our universe is right at the
> critical density and hence is "flat". In calculating this total energy
> density, even massless particles like photons contribute, because they
> still have energy, even though they have zero mass. Similarly, the dark
>
> energy, whether it is a cosmological constant or some other strange
> particle or field, makes a positive contribution to the energy density
> (currently the dark energy contribution is estimated to be ~72% of the
> critical energy density of the universe, and the sum of everything --
> normal matter, dark matter, radiation, dark energy -- comes out to 100%
> of the critical density to within the observational uncertainties).
>
> What is so strange about the dark energy, whatever it is, is that it
> appears to have a negative pressure (unlike ordinary matter and
> radiation), producing a sort of "tension" in the universe that makes the
>
> expansion of the universe accelerate, as though there is a "negative
> gravity" acting to push everything apart faster and faster, rather than
> a net "positive gravity" that we are used to, that would tend to slow
> down the expansion.
>
> Note that the discussion above refers to the large-scale structure and
> curvature of space/time in the universe as a whole. Near discrete
> massive objects like our sun, or other stars, or black holes, their
> "normal" positive gravity dominates their local surroundings, so you get
>
> the kind of local space-time curvature effects that are the fundamental
> elements of general relativity (and that have stood up to ever more
> precise observational tests!).
>
> If you think this is all pretty strange, we couldn't agree with you
> more!
Posted by: AlanC || 09/08/2009 10:57 Comments || Top||

#17  That might just mean that we didn't understand gravity at large distances, of course.

Are you adding time-dialation due to speed of the Galaxy's approach?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 09/08/2009 13:02 Comments || Top||

#18  Sorry, typo on my part; all my notes were wrt Dark Matter, not Dark Energy.

"Dark Energy" is a little less well attested experimentally. You need it to make the current theories of the universe's expansion work out right, and they measure a change in the expansion rate that seems to act like a pressure (due to some unseen energy?); but the required dark energy fraction of the total energy is so huge that I get skeptical. On the other hand there's obviously _something_ there already that we don't understand, so maybe "dark energy" isn't so improbable an add-on.
Posted by: James || 09/08/2009 13:32 Comments || Top||

#19  Redneck,
The too-fast star orbits in a galaxy might mean that we don't know gravity well enough (hence the MOND theories), but things like the bullet cluster seem to point to the presence of something substantial but unseen.
Posted by: James || 09/08/2009 13:41 Comments || Top||

#20  Re: #6:

Dostoevsky sez:

"It is NOT that one must suffer for someone,
It is simply one MUST suffer."
Posted by: borgboy || 09/08/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||

#21  And non-of them want to talk about almost particles...
Those that have less than E= M*C**2 energy.

I'm a little short so I don't exist but if you screw up around me (like get near a spinning blackhole) and I can steal some and then I can exist.... and you never existed...

It's all magic.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/08/2009 15:39 Comments || Top||

#22  Oil and coal are matter, and they're dark. Lets just go with those.
Posted by: Mike N. || 09/08/2009 15:44 Comments || Top||

#23  I'm going with odd socks myself. They must build up somewhere.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 09/08/2009 16:57 Comments || Top||

#24  " The concept involves shifting electrons in hydrogen molecules into a lower orbit, releasing energy in the process."
This is done in a "fridge."
Posted by: Grunter || 09/08/2009 17:21 Comments || Top||

#25  The 'other' Dark Matter Power.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/08/2009 22:48 Comments || Top||


Virus linked to prostate tumours in %27 of these cancers
Posted by: 3dc || 09/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  must proof read....away UK spelling....
Posted by: 3dc || 09/08/2009 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Had to deal with PC three years ago. Had TomoTherapy radiation treatment. Still dealing with it. As the doctor said I will be always dealing with it.

What I have found over the last three years is how little is known about the causation of prostate cancer rather than how much is known. I have also learned how important each day is and not to take anything for granted.

I cannot see how BO's health cared proposal would do anything but detract from the quality of treatment I received.
Posted by: JohnQC || 09/08/2009 9:39 Comments || Top||



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Tue 2009-09-08
  Two foreigners among seven dead in NWA drone strikes
Mon 2009-09-07
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Sun 2009-09-06
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