Friday, September 30, 2005
Please note: these laptops are not in production. They are not—and will not—be available for purchase by individuals.
Media Lab Press Liaison
What is the $100 Laptop, really?
The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. These rugged laptops will be WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and have USB ports galore. Its current specifications are: 500MHz, 1GB, 1 Megapixel.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
An amateur explorer claimed this weekend to have found the legendary lost city of Atlantis, but other researchers said there is a total lack of evidence and called the whole expedition a hoax.
American architect Robert Sarmast said sonar scanning 50 miles southeast of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean, revealed walls and trenches he claims must be of the ancient city that legend refers to as a utopia.
"It is a miracle we found these walls as their location and lengths match exactly the description of the acropolis of Atlantis provided by Plato in his writings," Sarmast said.
The claim was reported by the Associated Press and other wire services and carried by major media outlets around the world. It is not the first time someone claimed to find the lost city.
By Bjorn Carey
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 28 September 2005
01:10 pm ET
Falling into quicksand isn't quite as bad as some movies make it out to be.
Instead of being sucked all the way in, quicksand victims will float once they get about waist deep, according to a new study.
Yet while the risk of vanishing has apparently evaporated, escaping the muck is still a tough task: To pull one leg free requires the amount of force needed to lift a small car. There are tricks, however.
Free Ground Shipping!
The myth of a Pakistani scientist as his nation's savior long protected him. It took his peddling of atomic know-how to shred it.
By Douglas Frantz
September 23, 2005
In spring 2000, Lt. Gen. Syed Mohammad Amjad was in his office at Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau when one of his senior investigators delivered the report he was dreading.
The bureau had been created six months earlier to root out corruption among bureaucrats, politicians and the business elite. Amjad, a career army officer known for his integrity, was given authority to arrest anyone.
The investigator had been quietly verifying the contents of a 700-page dossier on Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist whose reputation as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb made him the country's most revered figure.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Hostage Gave Meth to Atlanta Fugitive - Yahoo! News
ATLANTA - Ashley Smith, the woman who says she persuaded suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to release her by talking about her faith, discloses in a new book that she gave him methamphetamine during the hostage ordeal.
Smith did not share that detail with authorities at the time. But investigators said she came clean about the drugs when they interviewed her months later. They said they have no plans to charge her with drug possession.
In her book, "Unlikely Angel," released Tuesday, Smith says Nichols had her bound on her bed with masking tape and an extension cord. She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, and she dug into her illegal stash of crystal meth instead.
I guess you do what you got to do...
If that happens to me, I'll dig into my Reese's and Hershey's stash.
Exploring Constitutional Law
by Doug Linder (2005)
This site explores some of the great issues and controversies that surround our Nation's founding document.
Begin your journey by reading the document this site is all about, The Constitution of the United States.
Monday, September 26, 2005
John Pickrell in England
for National Geographic News
September 20, 2005
The term 'endangered species' typically conjures up images of charismatic animals tigers, pandas, orangutans, whales, condors. But a new study says that the vast majority of species on the verge of extinction is in fact humble insects.
Buy.com has the Motorola Razr V3 (Camera Phone) (Cingular Wireless) Silver- and now in black - Free After Rebates! (expires 10/30) with Bonus Free After Rebate M3000 Plantronics Bluetooth (expires 10/15)Headset
The phone, made out of aluminum and magnesium and boasting a chemically-etched keypad and hardened glass, can be used internationally with its quad-band capability. It also features a speakerphone and is Bluetooth-capable. The RAZR V3 weighs 3.3 ounces and features a battery with 7 hours of talk time and 12 days of standby time. Multimedia capabilities includes the ability to support multimedia messaging service, built-in digital VGA camera with 4x zoom, and video download and playback support.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
May 9 2005
By Steve Bagnall, Daily Post
MYSTERIOUS lights appearing in the night sky over North Wales were baffling experts last night.
Former DIY store manager John White is seeking answers after catching sight of the strange lights near his rural home.
He took nine hours video footage of the lights near his house in Llannefydd, near Denbigh, over the past five weeks.
But Ministry of Defence chiefs have so far failed to come up with an explanation.
Between one and three separate lights have turned up regularly.
The editor of a teen magazine tells what's on the adolescent mind.
1. I think about sex -- a lot.
There's no question that sex is a topic of intense fascination for teens. But just because they're fascinated, doesn't mean they're doing it.
One of the stereotypes that still seems to be true, even in the 21st century, is that girls and women are more emotional than boys and men. So when teen girls think about sex, they often think about it in the context of their feelings. Sometimes this is problematic, because a girl can be persuaded to think that if she really loves a guy, it's okay to have sex with him, and even, on some level, required.
At the same time, girls' emphasis on feelings can make them cautious, because they aren't typically looking to go out and "get laid." In fact, in a survey one teen magazine did last year of 15,000 girls, a whopping 73 percent reported that they were virgins, and 49 percent of those said they were proud of it.
Given how powerful hormones are, and how much sexual imagery there is in the media, it's natural that your daughter is going to talk and read about sex. But think of it this way: She's being driven by a need to find out information -- about her body, his body, the repercussions of her decisions -- and studies have found that the more educated girls are about their sexual options, the less likely they are to get pregnant.
So let your daughter talk. It's a good way for her to explore her values and feelings about sex. And if she senses that you won't judge her harshly, preach ceaselessly or make light of her concerns, there's a good chance that she'll let you in on the conversation.
2. I want to be a star -- or at least be with a star!
Whether it was Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles or Michael Jackson, every generation has swooned over some idol. But the current generation of girls seems to have taken celebrity worship to new heights, or lows, depending on your point of view. Much of the mail I received was devoted to pleadings for a meeting, date or tour with the star of their dreams. There seemed to be little understanding -- even among this relatively savvy and streetwise generation -- that these working celebrities really can't arrange to hang out with fans. Second, despite what the stars say in interviews about the backbreaking work necessary to attain their status, more and more kids seem to think that becoming a celebrity is a genuine career option.
To parents I say: Make fun of this fantasy at your own risk. You'll only be further alienated from your daughter. Instead, I recommend exposing your teen to other career tracks -- starting with your own or your husband's. Show your teen the challenges, responsibilities and rewards of your work, and don't be afraid to expose the frustrations or stresses. Your daughter will appreciate being taken seriously.
3. I take your cash flow for granted.
The downside of the last decade's thriving economy is that most teens don't understand the concept of waiting to get what they want. Even if you're personally trying to hold the line, there will easily be two or three other parents in your daughter's school who already bought their teen the cutting-edge nonskip CD player, or the latest designer boots, or booked the entire dance club, complete with live band, for her sweet-16 party.
Your child will not be placated with tales of "When I was your age, I was thrilled to get a new pair of high-tops." She will likely feel entitled to whatever goodies are dangled in front of her by increasingly aggressive marketing tactics that have spilled out of the confines of commercials into regular TV programming (consider all the brand-waving on TV sitcoms and reality shows).
Your only recourse is to decide what's appropriate to spend on her extracurricular life, then make her earn her own money to buy goodies beyond that amount. Over the course of your daughter's lifetime, easy money will not be guaranteed, and this is a lesson that's less painful learned early than late.
4. I'm not religious, but I am spiritual.
This generation of teens may not be setting any records for church attendance, but they do, when asked, characterize themselves as believers in God and are interested in issues of faith. Even teens who didn't necessarily relate to born-again Christianity admired Cassie Bernall, one of the girls who was killed in the Columbine High School massacre, for allegedly not backing down on her religious convictions, even to save her life.
Today's teens also believe in putting their money where their mouths are. They say they are more likely to buy brands that give back in some way -- by donating money to the environment or by being concerned about the animal population. And while teens certainly pick pop icons based on style and coolness, they tend to love those stars more if they stand for something, such as helping to fight cancer or building homes for the poor.
5. My bedroom is the seat of my soul.
The "Keep Out" sign on a teen's room is a cliché? by now, but one that's still useful to heed. More than ever, girls use their bedroom decor as a way to express their creativity and individuality. A staple of a teen girl's room these days is at least one wall plastered with hundreds of cutout photos of favorite celebrities, as well as photos of her and her friends. But it doesn't stop there. Themed rooms (her favorite sport, her favorite season, her favorite place) or colors that match her mood at that moment are in force. Maybe it isn't your particular aesthetic to have a mural of mythical sea creatures painted all over the ceiling, but consider this: If your daughter is proud of her bedroom, she is far more likely to invite her friends over to hang out. And if you like the idea of knowing where she is, you'd better get used to photo collages and multicolored murals.
6. I worry about my looks all the time.
One of my most heartbreaking discoveries was how much time girls spend assessing their physical attractiveness -- and deciding they came up short. This was the only obsession that really came close to rivaling their fascination with guys.
One of the ways I tried to help girls was to divide their concerns into attributes they could do nothing about (height, for example) and those they could (weight). The problem was, the list of things girls believed they could -- and should -- do something about grew every day. (I ran a story about the troubling rise of plastic surgery among girls, that showed that liposuction for teens was up 132 percent.)
Of course, not every girl who wrote, worried that she was too fat, was wrong. While teens liked reading about exercise and nutrition, too many of them were couch potatoes with dismal diets. So I tried to showcase girls who were naturally and joyously athletic, and let them do the preaching to other teens in the magazine. These girls were normally proportioned and usually had self-confidence to spare.
So, do be vigilant about this problem. When you're looking for fun family outings, break out the bicycles instead of take-out pizza and a video. And do keep telling your daughter she's beautiful to you, and will be beautiful to those who truly see her soul. These verbal embraces are necessary inoculations against the demons of self-doubt that eat at your daughter daily.
7. My friends are everything.
It would be hard to exaggerate, especially for girls, just how critical their girlfriends are in their lives. As a parent, you'll sometimes feel -- if you haven't already -- that you're less important to your daughter than her 12 best friends. In a certain way -- take a deep breath -- this is true.
What her crew offers her that you can't (and shouldn't!) is a place in the world where she is an equal, an operator, where she has a shot at controlling her destiny and identity. That's a heady feeling. With you, she will always be the kid.
A dinner out with you...well, later for that. Try your best not to be destroyed or enraged by this attitude, because it will pass. Your daughter may be 22 by then, but, hey, that still leaves you a good 40 years of dinners together.
8. Love hurts.
From where you sit -- working, doing chores, keeping your marriage happy, helping your aging parents -- teen life, with its endless pursuit of love and happiness, seems enviable indeed. But the bulk of the mail I got from girls was full of tortured questions about guys and love: what to do about being ignored, scorned or betrayed; whether there was life after crushing heartbreak; whether they really were losers in love.
So try to keep your daughter's perspective in mind when you see her on the phone or e-mailing friends for hours. Remember that obsession with love and sex is hardwired into her brain; in a very real sense, she can't help but fixate on this. If she's talking about one boy 24/7, don't tell her it's just puppy love and that she'll forget about it soon enough. (Don't you still remember your high-school romances?) Take her seriously, and be sensitive to the fact that she feels mystified, mortified or manhandled by the god of love.
9. The world is a scary place.
Sure, my readers enjoyed learning about the workings of the boy brain, and loved to laugh over tales of other girls' embarrassing moments. But the stories that touched them most profoundly, and inspired them to write the most thoughtful letters, were those that addressed the serious -- and often scary -- things that happened in their world. School shootings. Violent boyfriends. Drugs slipped into drinks at parties.
Unfortunately, I didn't have to dig hard to find these stories. Many came directly from readers. The reason it was so healing, cathartic and ultimately empowering for troubled girls to read these pieces is that they helped them to know they weren't alone, and that it is possible to survive tragedy. What's more, testimonials coming from other teens have a much deeper impact on a girl's psyche than a lecture delivered by Mom. For example, one reader wrote: "I had been considering having sex, but then I read your story [about teen moms] and it made me realize I'm not ready. Thank you for stopping me from making a bad decision." The magazine gave the girls the nuts-and-bolts information they needed to stay safe. Look closely at the serious stories your daughter is reading, and use them as a jumping-off point for a broader conversation about the issues addressed.
10. I love you, and I need you.
If you're like most parents, you're going to have to wait till about your daughter's thirtieth birthday before she can say, "I love you, Mom," out loud, without stammering and blushing. Until then, you'll endure a lot of abuse and even pain. But the fact is, girls told me over and over that they loved their parents, even while they were complaining about overly-strict curfews and demands for better grades. That's important to note: You don't have to abandon discipline or your rightful place as the authority figure to earn your daughter's love.
So unless you're faced with some seriously dysfunctional family dynamic, be assured that despite all the eye-rolling and even occasional venom, your teen daughter does love you, and she wants you to love her. Just don't tell her how you know.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Picked up groceries today and thought I would grab lunch at the deli. Noticed they had ribs today. Yumm.
Got home after a bit so had to warm them up. The lunch 'snack' had two ribs, a roll, ham and cheese salad, jojo's.
The ribs? two pieces of bone with more sauce than meat burned onto them. What meat there was, was good though. Ham and cheese salad good. Jojo's? These are potato wedges fried like french fries. In fact they are just big french fries, but called Jojo's. They are nasty. They should get something else. Everytime I get a lunch snack, they are included. But they just suck. Time for a new brand or new something. Maybe a stuffed baked potato? Whatever. The dinner roll was perfectly fine in a generic way.
All in all, two and a half stars out of five. Cost? $4.99.
Hindsight? I shoulda bought a steak and cooked it after getting home.
Because I said.
I am sick of hearing "Nine Eleven"
Thanks, appreciate it.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Ghost hunter in Johnson City, TN
Retired Professor Hunts Ghosts in Tenn.
Fri Oct 29, 8:06 PM ET Strange News - AP
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Halloween isn't the only time ghosts and spirits haunt parts of Tennessee. Nancy Acuff should know. The retired East Tennessee State University professor has investigated many sightings in the region and helped people understand why places might be haunted.
In time for the spooky holiday, Acuff recalled some of her most interesting hunts for haunts.
A Jonesborough man called Acuff once and told her his house was haunted.
'He woke up one morning to find the image of a dead, bloody child on the floor beside his bed; very traumatic,' Acuff said.
'Sometime later, while watching television one night, he said he saw the image of two turn-of-the-century-dressed families walk through his house.'
Acuff told the man to set up a video camera in the hallway to try to capture the image. Acuff and the man reviewed the video and saw what appeared to be a globe of light at first, followed by the shadows of a man, a woman and two children.
Then out of nowhere a voice shouted, 'What are all these ghosts doing here?'
'The gentleman almost fainted when we heard that voice,' she said. 'The voice, he said, was the voice of his late wife, who had died of cancer a while back.'
Acuff found evidence that a small child had been killed on a road near the house to explain the image the man saw.
Acuff said a church was once located near the man's house, and she believes the ghosts were walking to the church.
After Acuff found some explanations, the man told her the ghostly images stopped appearing.
There have been other ghostly sightings reported in Jonesborough.
The image of 'Parson' Brownlow, a Methodist minister, founder of a newspaper in Jonesborough, governor of Tennessee immediately after the Civil War and later a U.S. Senator, has been seen walking the Jonesborough cemetery on some nights.
'He was a real fire-and-brimstone type of minister,' Acuff said. 'The thing that is puzzling is why his ghostly image has been seen here. He is buried in Knoxville.'
Some believe one of his wives is buried there. Others think Brownlow buried five to six people at a time in graves at the cemetery after they died of typhoid or cholera.
Ghosts and spirits of dead people are not to blame for all hauntings. Acuff investigated another freaky episode she attributed to a doppelganger, a German word that means 'double walker' and refers to an image or action of a person still alive.
A Johnson City woman, who Acuff described as intelligent and well-informed, told her that on certain holidays, birthdays or family gatherings she would come home and find her normally neat closet in disarray.
Acuff delved into the relationships in the woman's family to find an answer to the disturbance.
The woman's mother-in-law had Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) and was living in a nursing home. The woman's husband never went to see his mother or call her because he regarded her as dead.
As Acuff tells it, after the family visited the nursing home and told the mother how concerned they were about her, the closet disturbances stopped.
Information from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com"
KEY WEST, Fla. - Rita strengthened into a hurricane on Tuesday as it lashed the Florida Keys with heavy rain and strong wind, threatening the island chain with a storm surge of up to 7 feet and sparking fears the storm could eventually bring new misery to the Gulf Coast."
*I would leave too...
Posted by Prem Ganwani on 20 Sep 2005 - 13:18
In what could be considered a very surprising move, and one that easily could shake the browser market, Opera has made it's award winning browser available to the masses for free, void of it's built in Advertisement Banner, giving people the choice of one of the most powerful, flexible and a very secure web browser.
Opera Software today permanently removed the ad banner and licensing fee from its award-winning Web browser. The ad-free, full-featured Opera browser is now available for download - completely free of charge – at http://www.opera.com.
"Today we invite the entire Internet community to use Opera and experience Web browsing as it should be," said Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Removing the ad banner and licensing fee will encourage many new users to discover the speed, security and unmatched usability of the Opera browser."
Opera was previously available free of charge with an ad banner. Users had the option of paying a licensing fee to remove the ad banner and receive premium support.
"Opera fans around the globe made this day possible," said von Tetzchner. "As we grow our userbase, our mission and our promise remain steadfast: we will always offer the best Internet experience to our users - on any device. Today this mission gains new ground."
In contrast, seeing as how Opera made their browser available for a day on their 10th anniversary, some may have seen this move coming. Regardless, Being one of the fastest and the most standard compliant browser, Opera may well have opened a new chapter in the browser wars.
At a Glance
Advertisement banner removed
Registration options removed
Updated end-user license agreement
Changes since 8.02
Monday, September 19, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
MINNEAPOLIS | The call to the police came in at 1 a.m. Thursday and sounded like a supermarket tabloid headline.
A man in the small Iron Range town of Gilbert, Minn., was being eaten alive in his home by rats, the caller said.
Skepticism turned to disbelief when they responded. More than 200 black rats — a colony originating from one pregnant pet-store type of rat that the mentally disabled man had taken in — had overrun the small house.
"In this occupation, you see a lot of things. Nothing really surprises us," said Police Chief Mark Skelton. "You can never say that you've seen it all, because you haven't."
The 47-year-old man, who had been nibbled on a few times but seemed otherwise fine, was taken to a "safe house," Skelton said.
The man lived alone, he said.
The St. Louis County health department and a pest control company were also called in; rats can sometimes spread diseases to humans.
Officers have spent time calming neighbors, telling them that the type of rat — a black rat, whose scientific name is rattus rattus — doesn't stray far from its home.
According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology website, female black rats can produce up to five litters per year and the rats are able to reproduce several months after birth.
Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:23 PM ET"
In Washington, President George W. Bush said Pyongyang's compliance must be verified even as he cautiously welcomed the agreement.
Bush said a promise by North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program was a "step forward in making this world a more secure place." But he added: "The question is, over time, will all parties adhere to the agreement?"
Sunday, September 18, 2005
They used computers to analyze 21 khipu found at Puruchuco and divided them into three groups based on the knot patterns. Their findings are reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
One group seems to be for local use and the other two groups — each with the three-knot pattern — may have been used to report local activities to higher authority, or to receive messages from those authorities. Details of the information from the local khipu was coded onto the others intended for travel.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Thu Sep 15, 7:44 AM ET
TOKYO - Bringing Japan's most complex space mission near its climax, a probe is within 12 miles of an asteroid almost 180 million miles from Earth in an unprecedented rendezvous designed to retrieve rocks from its surface.
The Hayabusa probe, launched in May 2003, will hover around the asteroid for about three months before making its brief landing to recover the samples in early November. The asteroid is located between Earth and Mars.
Jaxa website: http://www.jaxa.jp/index_e.html
Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Monday, September 05, 2005
Reginald Lagow took this photograph after his neighbor shot the animal dead
around August 16, 2005, and then threw the body in the trash. "The animal's hide felt like wool."
Friday, September 02, 2005
By Debbie Schlussel
Remember Oprah Winfrey, the daytime talk show host? Remember Oprah, who dropped everything and changed her season's new shows in September 2001--so we'd be more sympathetic to Islam after 19 of its adherents murdered 3,000 Americans?
Well, strangely, Ms. Oprah of the self-named conceit, 'Oprah's Angel Network,' is MIA during this week's Hurricane Katrina disaster. Nowhere to be found.
Oh, sure, I know she's on vacation. And, yes, I know she has more important shows to put on when the season starts--her conspicuous 20th Anniversary self-congratulation."
Visit it NOW and give what you can. I don't know why this nation can continue on like nothing has happened!
The company hired industrial design firm Foraxis to help fabricate the new parts and produced a bike that weighs a mere 375 pounds: the B91 Wraith.
You’ll notice that there’s no teardrop gas tank crowning the frame; the fuel is under the engine in a molded carbon-fiber container to lower the bike’s center of gravity. A hollow carbon-fiber backbone arches from the steering neck to the rear shock and doubles as the oil reservoir.
Connecting points cast directly into the backbone eliminate several pounds’ worth of fasteners. In front, the Wraith uses carbon-fiber blades attached to spring-loaded levers instead of typical—and heavy—telescoping forks.
Want a ride? You’ll need to wait your turn: All 60 of the $50,000 2006 models are spoken for.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Wednesday, August 31st, 2005
4:23 pm Info Update
Ok, we went down to the ground floors to lock down the building tight since a couple of people holed up with us took off. While we were down there we surveyed a huge area of the CBD.
Flooding in the CBD: Poydras is flooded from near the west side of the Superdome down to Baronne street. All of the side streets are flooded too down that way. Baronne is the last flooded street as you head to the river. Poydras is clear from Baronne to the river.
There is no water that we could see from Poydras to the interstate starting at Baronne and going all the way to the river. Headed toward Canal St. from Poydras, I saw no flooding at all from just past Baronne to the river. That's a huge area of the CBD without water on the streets. That's way better than the warnings we got.
Looting: The police are looting. This has been confirmed by several independent sources. Some of the looting might be "legitimate" in as much as that word has any meaning in this context. They have broken into ATMs and safes: confirmed. We have eyewitnesses to this. They have taken dozens of SUVs from dealerships ostensibly for official use. They have also looted gun stores and pawn shops for all the small arms, supposedly to prevent "criminals" from doing so. But who knows their true intentions. We have an inside source in the NOPD who says that command and control is in chaos. He reports that command lapses more than 24 hours between check-ins, and that most of the force are "like deer in the headlights." NOPD already had a reputation for corruption, but I am telling you now that the people we've been talking to say they are not recognizing the NOPD as a legitimate authority anymore, since cops have been seen looting in Walmarts and forcing people out of stores so they could back up SUVs and loot them. Don't shoot the messenger....
Personal: Securing a 27 floor high rise with no elevator support is not fun. I am totally worn out. I am gonna chill for an hour, eat dinner, then perform maintenance. But never fear, Outpost Crystal and Team SOTI have knuckled down and will never quit. Never. We are prepared to go all the way to see this thing through.
Thanks again for all the support and love. One day this will all be over and ancient history, but I'll never forget the kindness of strangers. Keep the less fortunate people in your thoughts and prayers.