Sunday, October 30, 2005

Lobster: Journal of parapolitics, intelligence and State Research

Lobster was first published in 1983. It investigates state espionage, government conspiracies, the abuse of governmental power, and the influence of the intelligence and security agencies on contemporary history and politics.

If you generally accept the government line, that there is a "national interest", and believe what you read in the newspapers, then Lobster is probably not for you.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Suicide Mistaken for Halloween Decoration

FREDERICA, Del. - The apparent suicide of a woman found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours because passers-by thought the body was a Halloween decoration, authorities said.

The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across the street from some homes on a moderately busy road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.

The body, suspended about 15 feet above the ground, could be easily seen from passing vehicles.

State police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham and neighbors said people noticed the body at breakfast time Wednesday but dismissed it as a holiday prank. Authorities were called to the scene more than three hours later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Spyware Busters Surf the Web for a Living

By VAUHINI VARA
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

From The Wall Street Journal Online


Simon Clausen, chief executive of computer-security firm PC Tools, is tackling one of the biggest online privacy threats -- by encouraging his employees to surf the Web for pornography.

Mr. Clausen knows that these shady sites often host the newest variations of spyware: programs that hide on your hard drive and cause all sorts of mischief, from displaying pop-up ads to stealing private information and spying on your Web-surfing habits. By sending his researchers into the unsavory corners of the Web, Mr. Clausen hopes to keep up to speed on the latest developments in spyware -- and find new ways to defeat them.

Spyware busting is a relatively new niche in the software business. Most of the companies that market defensive products only got into the field in the past year or so, as Web users became more aware of the ballooning problem. Now, like PC Tools, these companies are discovering that fighting spyware is a much tougher, and messier, business than they anticipated.

Incentive and Means

Unlike the pranksters who write computer viruses, spyware makers aren't interested in crashing your hard drive, hijacking your email or playing any other destructive tricks. Instead, they get paid by marketers to serve up annoying pop-up ads or collect information about your Web-surfing habits. Some of the most egregious spyware programs even harvest personal information and sell it to crooks.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms



Wilma on 10/23/2005

McDonalds Monopoly 2005 Rare Piece List

McDonalds Monopoly 2005 Rare Piece List @ Amazing-Bargains.com: "McDonald's Monopoly 2005 Rare Game Pieces"

Wondering which 2005 McDonalds pieces are valuable and which are not?

Me too. Visit this site and you'll see.

Here is the list of the valuable pieces:
5001 Mediterranean Ave
5004 Vermont Ave
5008 Virginia Ave
5010 Tennessee Ave
5012 Kentucky Ave
5016 Ventnor Ave
5020 Pennsylvania Ave
5022 Boardwalk
5026 Short Line Railroad

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Blogthings - Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

Accidental Invention Points to End of Light Bulbs

Bjorn Carey
LiveScience Staff Writer
LiveScience.com
Fri Oct 21, 5:00 PM ET


The main light source of the future will almost surely not be a bulb. It might be a table, a wall, or even a fork.

An accidental discovery announced this week has taken LED lighting to a new level, suggesting it could soon offer a cheaper, longer-lasting alternative to the traditional light bulb. The miniature breakthrough adds to a growing trend that is likely to eventually make Thomas Edison's bright invention obsolete.

LEDs are already used in traffic lights, flashlights, and architectural lighting. They are flexible and operate less expensively than traditional lighting.

Happy accident

Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots, which are crystals generally only a few nanometers big. That's less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair.

Quantum dots contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 electrons. They're easily excited bundles of energy, and the smaller they are, the more excited they get. Each dot in Bower's particular batch was exceptionally small, containing only 33 or 34 pairs of atoms.

When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.

"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."

Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.

The new device gives off a warm, yellowish-white light that shines twice as bright and lasts 50 times longer than the standard 60 watt light bulb.

This work is published online in the Oct. 18 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Walmart in New Richmond, WI Grand Opening

By Jeff Holmquist, Managing Editorjholmquist@rivertowns.net

The shelves are stocked, the employees are trained and the Wal-Mart greeters are ready with their smiles.

Let the New Richmond super center experience begin.

When the clock strikes 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, shoppers will stream into the new 155,000-square-foot store on the southern edge of the city. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will precede the opening at 7:30 a.m.

From Oct. 26 on, the store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The only day Wal-Mart will be closed is Christmas.

The anticipated opening is the culmination of several years of planning, and about nine months of construction. “It’s starting off with a roar,” store manager Sandy Schleicher said in an interview Monday. “The associates are excited, the management team is excited, and everybody in the community is excited. We’re so happy to be here.”

The store will include everything from groceries to electronics to clothing to sporting goods. A Papa Murphy’s, snack bar, quick lube and other services are also planned.

Dorfus Potty Dunkin at your service.

The following in excerped from a children's book, "Captain Underpants
And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants" by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...


1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:
a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:
a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = butt
b = boobi
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice
Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is Fluffy Chucklefanny.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Hate That Crazy Frog Ringtone

Play the game. I got him to 35.5!!!

Happy Birthday Lynn!

Winning Powerball Ticket Worth $340M Sold - Yahoo! News

By DAVID PITT, Associated Press Writer
33 minutes ago



DES MOINES, Iowa - All eyes were on Oregon, where someone bought the winning Powerball ticket worth $340 million. It was the largest jackpot in the game's history and the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

ADVERTISEMENT

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday evening were 7, 21, 43, 44, 49 and 29.

Powerball officials said the winning ticket was sold somewhere in Oregon. They had no other information.

Forty-seven tickets sold matched the first five numbers drawn but failed to match the Powerball. They win $200,000 each, plus a bonus of $653,492. The odds of hitting all six numbers were 1 in 146 million.

Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

The Movie PHYSICS RATING SYSTEM

In the name of physics decency, to protect the minds of children everywhere, so that they may grow up in a world where they know the difference between speed and velocity, we have taken the responsibility to rate movies for their portrayal of excessively bad physics. The system is as follows:

* GP = Good physics in general

* PGP = Pretty good physics (just enough flaws to be fun)

* PGP-13 = Children under 13 might be tricked into thinking the physics were pretty good; parental guidance is suggested

* RP = Retch

* XP = Obviously physics from an unknown universe

* NR = Unrated. When a movie is obviously a parody, fantasy, cartoon or is clearly based on a comic book it can't be rated but may still have some interesting physics worth discussing.

SPACE.com -- Image of the Day

SPACE.com -- Image of the Day

Mars Polar Lander Still Lost

Mars Polar Lander Still Lost

After being lost and potentially found, NASA’s Mars Polar Lander appears to be lost once more.

The sharp-shooting Mars Global Surveyor has repeatedly scanned for wreckage of the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), which disappeared on touchdown in December 1999.

Camera specialists at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) near San Diego, California initially thought they might have spotted the probe’s parachute, as well as disturbed terrain from the craft’s landing engines.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Need a cheap home network firewall?

Need a cheap home network firewall? Want a free wireless router to go with it??? Look no further. Linksys BEFW11S4

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies - Nostalgia Central

This is a good one; Number 13. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises wearing their most revealing underwear.

Don'tcha just love it!!

Or how about number 39. All teen house parties have one of every stereotypical subculture present (even people who aren't liked and would never get invited to parties).

True, true...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Voice of Evangelism - Perry Stone Ministries

Is America Running Out of Gas?

Posted 09/29/2005

One New Year’s Day a large portion of the Rose Bowl Parade in Southern California sputtered and came to a halt. One of the loveliest floats in the parade had run out of gas, stopping everyone behind it. The sponsor for the float was—Standard Oil Company!

Current events reflect prophetic fulfillment. The Bible says what has been, will be. What you see on the newscasts and read in your newspaper is either the fulfillment of or setting the stage for, the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. A good example is the current oil crisis.


The Current Dilemma


Is America . . . and the world . . . running out of oil? Best-selling book titles include The End of Oil, Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash, The Oil Age Is Over, and others. National Geographic featured a cover story last summer that looked at how the world would survive “After Oil.” Is America’s joy ride coming to a screeching halt? Are we truly about to run out of oil?

Most of the experts say, “No!” The truth is that the earth is swimming in oil. The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859. At that time, there was six trillion barrels of crude oil underneath the ground in America. Today, 146 years later, we have used only about a trillion barrels.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Biggest Wi-Fi Cloud Is in Rural Oregon - Yahoo! News

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 32 minutes ago

HERMISTON, Ore. - Parked alongside his onion fields, Bob Hale can prop open a laptop and read his e-mail or, with just a keystroke, check the moisture of his crops.

While cities around the country are battling over plans to offer free or cheap Internet access, this lonely terrain is served by what is billed as the world's largest hotspot, a wireless cloud that stretches over 700 square miles of landscape so dry and desolate it could have been lifted from a cowboy tune.

Similar wireless projects have been stymied in major metropolitan areas by telephone and cable TV companies, which have poured money into legislative bills aimed at discouraging such competition. In Philadelphia, for instance, plans to blanket the entire city with Wi-Fi fueled a battle in the Pennsylvania legislature with Verizon Communications Inc., leading to a law that limits the ability of every other municipality in the state to do the same.

But here among the thistle, large providers such as local phone company Qwest Communications International Inc. see little profit potential. So wireless entrepreneur Fred Ziari drew no resistance for his proposed wireless network, enabling him to quickly build the $5 million cloud at his own expense.

Ziara's company built the towers to match the topography. They are as close as a quarter-of-a-mile apart inside towns like Hermiston, and as far apart as several miles in the high-desert wilderness.

Asked why other municipalities have had a harder time succeeding, he replies: "Politics."

"The 'Who's-going-to-get-a-piece-of-the action?' has been a big part of the obstacles," said Karen Hanley, senior marketing director of the Austin, Texas-based Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

L.I. Principal Cancels 'Bacchanalian' Prom

L.I. Principal Cancels 'Bacchanalian' Prom - Yahoo! News

Finally, someone from the spiritual side has spoken up against the 'prom'. A must read.

"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake — in a word, financial decadence," Brother Hoagland said, fed up with what he calls the "bacchanalian aspects" of the prom.

"Each year it gets worse — becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic," he added. "We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing the parents full responsibility. (Kellenberg) is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Saturday Night Live Transcripts

A collection of transcripts for Saturday Night Live episodes. Appears to be very complete!

Woman Allegedly Attacked Pregnant Neighbor to Steal Unborn Baby

Victim in Critical Condition, Baby is Listed As Stable
Oct. 14, 2005 — - A Pennsylvania woman accused of cutting her pregnant neighbor's belly open in an attempt to steal her unborn child had a bassinet, a baby swing and other baby supplies waiting at home, police said.

Peggy Jo Conner, 38, was arraigned Thursday on charges of attempted aggravated assault in the attack on Valerie Oskin, 30. Conner is being held without bail. State police reported Oskin was in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital and her baby, delivered by emergency Caesarean section, was stable. Hospital officials would not comment about the condition of mother or child.

"The only indication we have right now was her (Conner's) ultimate goal was to get this child and claim it as her own," said Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi.

Andreassi said tests performed on Conner indicate she was not pregnant, although she had convinced her friends that she was. She told police she was seven months pregnant, according to the criminal complaint.

"She is pregnant," said Thomas Wilks, who said he is Conner's estranged husband. "I got a sonogram saying she is pregnant. I've felt the baby kick numerous times. I've felt the baby kick in her stomach."

Conner is the mother of three children, aged 11, 14 and 16. There is no indication she has a criminal history, according to Andreassi, nor has there been any evidence of mental illness.

Conner's hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Oskin's 7-year-old son has been placed in protective custody.

There have been several attacks on pregnant women to steal their babies. Bobbie Jo Stinnet, 23, was strangled in Skidmore, Mo., and the baby cut from her body in 2004. Carolyn Simpson, 21, was shot and killed in December 2003. Her fetus was ripped from her body and the baby later died. Theresa Andrews, 23, was shot and her baby delivered in a Caesarean section in 2000. Carethia Curry was shot and killed in 1996 and a fellow teen ripped the full-term baby from her body.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gas price fixing suit filed

BY ANNE KRISHNAN : The Herald-Sun
akrishnan@heraldsun.com
Oct 10, 2005 : 10:02 pm ET

DURHAM -- When Mebane-based McLeod Oil Co. ordered Steven Grover to boost gasoline prices last month at his Durham station, Grover put his foot down -- and stepped right into the state's first gas price fixing lawsuit in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed suit against McLeod, a subsidiary and a manager for allegedly conspiring to fix prices and trying to force at least one gas station -- Grover's A&P Mini Mart at 1709 Glenn School Road -- to raise its prices by 40 cents a gallon.

McLeod referred calls to its spokesman, who is out of town on vacation. An employee said the company's Mebane office had no comment.

Cooper said the suit is the first in a number of investigations his office is conducting into gas price fixing across the state. Price fixing, or collusion, is when businesses work together to artificially inflate prices.

"Gas prices are already high enough without suppliers trying to fix prices to make a fast buck," he said. "It's clear that at least some of the price increase has to do with market forces, but we're going to take action if people are raising prices illegally."

There's still a lot of work required for the McLeod case, which will go before a judge in a preliminary hearing this week, a Cooper spokesman said. As the trial proceeds, the Attorney General's Office must determine how much of the 40-cent price increase was based on market factors, whether other businesses influenced McLeod's desired retail price and how widespread the collusion was, Cooper said.

"We will be doing investigation during this case to determine whether this is business as usual," Cooper said. "If it is, that's no way to do business."

In the A&P Mini Mart's case, McLeod, the supplier, allegedly first padlocked the pumps to the tanks and later removed gas from the tanks when Grover, the station's owner, wouldn't comply with the demanded price increases.

McLeod owns A&P's pumps and tanks. But Grover says that until about two weeks ago, the distributor allowed him to set his retail price based on choices it supplied.

To let customers know he wasn't gouging them when prices rose after Katrina, the Granville County resident began posting the "margin sheet" he received from McLeod on his cash register so drivers could see how much he paid for the gas they were putting in their tanks.

But on Sept. 28, a McLeod representative told Grover the company no longer would supply him with documentation and removed his ability to set his own price. According to an affidavit Grover filed, the McLeod employee told him the distributor's competing gas stations were angry with A&P's low prices and said Grover needed to be "in the ballpark of the other prices."

"They said they'd give me verbal orders as to what I would be charged for gas and what I was going to raise the price to and I said, 'No, that's not going to happen,' " Grover said in an interview Monday.

He refused the distributor's demand to increase the price of a gallon of regular gas from $2.86 to $3.26. Nearby gas stations were selling regular gas for $3.09 or $3.19, Grover said.

That night, while he and his wife, Denise, were at church, McLeod padlocked his pumps to the tanks, making them unusable. Then last week, the company asked if the couple was ready to "get with the program and raise your prices," according to Grover's affidavit. When Denise Grover refused, McLeod returned and removed the gas from the tanks.

The request to "get with the program" and the McLeod employee's statement that other station owners were angry point to price fixing, Cooper said.

"I am going to find out what the program is and take action against anyone who's cheating consumers," he said.

In response to Cooper's suit, McLeod unlocked and refilled Grover's tanks on Saturday. He's selling regular gas for $2.81 a gallon -- two cents above the price he paid.

As word has spread about Grover's battle with the gas distributor, people have written letters and driven from across the state to congratulate him. Now posted on the cash register is a letter from a woman who wrote: "I greatly appreciate your moral stand against the greed of the oil companies," and enclosed a check for $25.

Grover says he just couldn't understand how the distributor could demand that he increase the retail price of gas he already had purchased. Cooper said he is investigating the legality of that practice.

McLeod also never had indicated that the margin sheet was confidential, Grover said.

"Business should be enacted aboveboard," he said. "Has nobody learned their lesson from Enron and the other big guys who have fallen? Let's do business but be honest businesspeople."

Professor finds two-headed rattlesnake

Wed, Oct. 12, 2005

This photo provided by Angelo State University shows a two-headed Western diamonback rattlesnake on Sept. 20, 2005, in San Angelo, Texas. Chris McAllister, a visiting professor of biology at Angelo State University in San Angelo, said he found the snake after turning over 400 to 500 rocks on Sept. 17, 2005 at a Christoval-area ranch, where he and students were scouring for interesting specimens.


AP Photo/Angelo State University, Tina Miller

The 100-Year Forecast: Stronger Storms Ahead

As Earth gets warmer, large regions will experience heavier rain and snowfall as weather becomes generally more intense, according to a new study.

"The models show most areas around the world will experience more intense precipitation for a given storm during this century," said lead researcher Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

A warmer world will also mean a wetter one.

"On average the global precipitation increases in a warmer climate," Meehl told LiveScience.

The increase in rain and snow will be on average about 10-20 percent, Meehl said. The more intense storms will most likely happen in late autumn, winter, and early spring. The largest increase in precipitation will occur over land in the tropics where the atmosphere is warming quickest.

Based on computer models, Meehl and his colleagues expect that the regions most likely to experience the more intense storms are places where large masses of moist air converge. These regions include northwestern and northeastern North America, northern Europe, northern Asia, the east coast of Asia, southwestern Australia and the south-central regions of South America.

B-Boy Scott!




























Wednesday, October 12, 2005

TiVo DVR Named One of 10 Best Products in the Last Decade by Tech Gurus at CNET: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

TiVo(R) DVR Chosen as Second Most Influential Tech Product in Last Decade; Editors Praise TiVo Interface and Cite Its Superiority to Competitors

ALVISO, Calif., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The technology experts at the venerable online tech chronicler CNET have selected the TiVo® DVR as one of the 10 best technology innovations of the last decade, citing in particular the superior TiVo user interface that delivers an unprecedented user experience that makes the product so easy to use.

Linksys Wireless 802.11B Cable/DSL Router (BEFW11S4)

Nice at only $25.99

Solar Power Biz Heats Up

The energy bill signed by President Bush in August provides tax credits of up to $2,000 for homeowners who activate solar energy systems in 2006 and 2007, with potentially larger benefits for businesses, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (.pdf). Industry insiders are also eyeing a bill pending in California: The Million Solar Roofs Initiative aims to place solar energy systems on a million residential and commercial sites -- including 50 percent of new home developments -- within 13 years.

"That'll be a game changer for California and the United States," said Ron Pernick, co-founder of Clean Edge, a research and marketing firm focused on clean-energy technologies.

Currently, the United States lags Japan and Germany in installing new solar power systems, something that Rhone Resch, the Solar Energy Industries Association's president, attributes in part to weaker tax incentives and lower conventional electricity costs. Resch believes tax incentives in the new U.S. energy bill will be particularly beneficial in boosting installations of solar thermal systems, which are used to heat water and typically cost less than $5,000 to install.

Ultrawideband: Wireless Whoopee

Industry experts and analysts see ultrawideband complementing both Wi-Fi, which now transmits data downstream at up to 54 megabits per second, and ultimately WiMax, a high-speed wireless technology in the early stages of development that works over much greater distances.

"(Ultrawideband is) very inexpensive, works across short ranges, but has very high performance," said analyst Craig Mathias of market research firm the Farpoint Group.

Wired News: Don't Let Fear Kill Muni Wi-Fi

Plans are afoot in Philadelphia and Huntsville, Alabama, as well as my hometown of San Francisco, to provide residents with low-cost or free wireless internet access. It's a great idea whose time has come, like drinking fountains, public toilets and park benches. But last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that my city's mayor expects a legal challenge from internet service providers like SBC and Comcast, who presumably prefer every San Franciscan to pay a monthly access fee.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

IBM ThinkPad

Holy Crap!

$289!!!

IBM ThinkPad PIII 700MHz NBB
IBM ThinkPad PIII 700MHz NBB

More bones of hobbit-sized humans discovered!

Professor Mike Morwood, of the University of New England, in Armidale, Australia, stunned the science world last year when he and his team announced the discovery of 18,000-year-old remains of a new human species called Homo floresiensis.

The partial skeleton discovered in a limestone cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 was of a tiny adult hominid, or early human, only one meter (3 feet tall), that would have walked upright and had a chimpanzee-sized brain.

Morwood and his team said it represented a unique species of early humans that evolved to a naturally small size because of environmental conditions and the isolation of the island, which was also home to exotic creatures such as miniature elephants and Komodo dragons.

But critics suggested the small hominid was not a new species and was more likely a pygmy human or a creature that suffered from a form of microcephaly, a condition that causes an unusually small brain.

'The finds further demonstrate ...(it) is not just an aberrant or pathological individual but is representative of a long-term population,' Morwood and his team said in a report in the science journal Nature.

CHINLESS WONDERS

The newly found remains, dug up in 2004, consist of a jaw, as well as arm and other bones which the researchers believe were from at least nine individuals.

A jaw bone reported last year and the latest one were probably from the same species, according to the scientists. Both share similar dental features and lacked chins.

The new species, dubbed "Flores man," is thought to be a descendent of Homo erectus, which had a large brain, was full-sized and spread from Africa to Asia about 2 million years ago.

"Although the original skeleton is estimated to be 18,000 years old, a child's radius (arm bone) was found in deposits estimated to be 12,000 years old," Daniel Lieberman, of Harvard University in Massachusetts, said in a commentary in the journal.

He added that if the remains were from a population of short microcephalic humans they would have had to survive a long time or been susceptible to a high frequency of dwarfism.

"Such possibilities strain credulity," Lieberman added.

CAT scans of the inside of the skull found in 2003 suggested it was a normal adult and not a diseased or mutant species. The brain could have been advanced enough for tool-making.

But Robert Martin, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois is unconvinced.

"Whatever else is true, that brain is simply too small for an 18,000 year-old hominid," he told Reuters.

DIY Notebooks?

I'm curious about something: the Small Form Factor (SFF) market exploded incredibly fast during 2003-4, and has seen an equally fast cool down. Where do you see the SFF market next year? Three years from now? Which direction do SFF manufacturers go to keep pushing the profit and innovation envelope? What sort of new innovations can they develop - smaller, bigger, or more standardized boxes? Perhaps new spin-off products and accessories to further explore the SFF or peripheral markets?

The answer may be in the DIY Notebook market. With a combination of today's mobile technology and performance, laptops are becoming the majority of computers in the marketplace. It is gradually becoming realistic to custom configure your own notebook, and it’s been a long time coming; building one’s own notebook offers one of the few remaining “new frontiers” for enthusiasts.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Find-A-Human -- IVR Phone System Shortcuts (USA)

Ever get fed up with phone systems that either do not work right or worse hang up on you after waiting an hour? The link above connects you to a tried and true listing of real human being phone numbers! Very exclusive, very reliable numbers for most of the fortune 100.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

South Asian quake toll nears 20,000 - Oct 9, 2005

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Rescue workers pulled survivors from rubble and uncovered bodies from debris as darkness fell in Islamabad and elsewhere, a day after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake caused devastation across South Asia.

Nearly 20,000 people were estimated killed in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan as a result of Saturday's quake.

The death toll is expected to rise once remote areas of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and the country's North-West Province are reached. Communication to many of those areas was cut off because of the temblor, and landslides had rendered roads inaccessible.

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf issued a plea on Sunday for foreign aid -- specifically, cargo helicopters and relief goods such as tents and blankets.

e-Commerce Guest Service Specialist - Menards Eau Claire

Full-Time job. $10 an hour. Not real sure how they are going to get a quality person for that money, but hey, whatever...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Unisys - Bayport, MN Desktop Architect

Key Responsibilities: The Desktop Architect 1 will act as the lead for the Unisys Desktop Administration Team. The Unisys Desktop Administration Team is responsible for the overall desktop administration, configuration and third level support of the client desktop environment. This individual will additionally support the Unisys PMO by providing input for process improvement and opportunity identification within the client.

Critical Technical & Behavioral Skills/Qualifications: Critical Technical & Behavioral Skills/Qualifications

Bachelors degree or equivalent experience in field.

MCSE 2000/2003 Certification.

Excellent verbal, written, and electronic communication skills.

Ability to multitask and work on project tasks as a team member or on an individual effort as needed.

Leadership ability: must be able to effectively win both client and peer confidence and drive project oriented efforts to successful outcomes.

7 or more years experience in MS Windows Operating System Support, both at the workstation level and server levels.

Experience with Windows 2000/XP Professional and Server 2003 administration, installation, analysis, and troubleshooting.

Experience with Microsoft Office 2000/XP/2003 installation, analysis and troubleshooting.

Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Active Directory design and management utilizing Microsoft documented preferred (best) practices.

Knowledge of systems management principles and technologies, including SUS (WSUS) and SMS 2003.

Thorough understanding of basic networking concepts (TCP/IP, Subnet, Routing, DHCP, DNS, etc) and ability to analyze, design, and document network from a vendor-neutral perspective.

Must have a solid grasp on systems security principles.

Working Knowledge of Desktop Management Interface (DMI), Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) & Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Knowledge and experience with application packaging.

Ability to compose, deploy, and troubleshoot scripts using VB scripting, WMI, KIX, InstallShield, WSH, and/or other scripting tools.

Strong MS Access, MS Excel, and SMS Reporting skills for generating reports.

Strong MS Project and MS Visio skills for project architecting, tracking, and documentation.

Enterprise Desktop Migration, Deployment, and Image Management experience.

MS Office and Outlook knowledge required for documentation and communication.



Boy, if a person can do all that, why would they be around here? Oh I see, its a (leadership) supervisor position, no doubt without the pay! Still, if I had all of those specific skills, I'd be in Austin.

Major Quake Devastates Indian Subcontinent, Kills Scores

ISLAMABAD, October 8, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – A huge earthquake measuring at least 7.6 on the open-ended Richter Scale killed on Saturday, October 8, scores of people in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, and caused widespread damage across the Indian Subcontinent.

Pakistan took the brunt of the quake with dozens of people feared to have died, amid reports that entire villages have been wiped out in northern areas and many trapped in a collapsed apartment block in the capital Islamabad, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"The earthquake epicenter lay 100 kilometers north of Islamabad," Mohammad Iqbal, a meteorological department official, told AFP.

The first tremor rumbled through the country at around 7:55 (4:55 GMT), followed by another after a few minutes.

Friday, October 07, 2005

'Ghost Hunters' Tackle Haunted U.S. Towns - Yahoo! News

By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 7, 3:06 PM ET

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Blown-out candles rekindle themselves, silverware moves untouched around vacant tables and a shadowy figure lurks in the basement.

Based on the manager's description, the Moon River brew pub is a perfect spot for Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson to hunt for ghostly shadows and eerie bumps in the night — at least those not coming from the cameraman filming their every move.

"It's a different world when the cameras aren't here," says Wilson, half of the plumbers-by-day, ghostbusters-by-night duo from the cable reality show "Ghost Hunters." "When there's no show, it's just us two. So when you hear footsteps, you know there's no one else around."

Though their Sci Fi Channel series debuted just a year ago, Hawes and Wilson of Warwick, R.I., have been investigating haunted hotspots for 15 years as leaders of the Atlantic Paranormal Society.

Away from their Roto Rooter day jobs, they seek solid evidence of spectral encounters with no-nonsense skepticism, relying on the electric eyes and ears of techno-geek gadgets rather than the sixth sense of mediums and psychics.

"I'd really like to get away from the sensitives who come in and do the floppy tuna, saying, `Satan's living in your closet,'" says Hawes, 33, as the four-man team sets up six infrared cameras to constantly record the rooms throughout the brew pub.

The ghost hunters have traveled to Georgia's oldest city, founded in 1733, to film an upcoming Halloween episode. There's no shortage of raw material here.

The city's haunted history stems from its grimmest episodes — a bloody Revolutionary War battle, a harsh Civil War occupation, devastating fires and three yellow fever epidemics. In 2002, the American Institute of Parapsychology dubbed Savannah "America's Most Haunted City."

"Everyone here has told us, `Oh, you've got to go to THE most haunted place,'" Wilson, 31, says after posing for snapshots with fans outside the pub. "And it's always a different spot."

At the Moon River, built on the bones of an 1820 hotel, manager Chris Lewis gives the ghost hunters — cameras in tow — a tour and a rundown of spooky sightings reported by his employees.

Workers say a folded chair propped against a window upstairs will upright itself with all four legs on the floor. They say candles snuffed on tables in the basement will flicker back to life after 20 minutes. One reported spotting a hooded figure in the darkened basement.

Lewis says he's witnessed one strange occurrence himself, enough to make him jittery about sticking around after the bar closes.

"We have silverware that gets left on the tables, and if you watch it'll start circling around on the tables," he says. "I would hope they could find some proof of something in this building, just so I know there's some validity to me being scared to be here after 2 a.m."

After the bar empties after 11:30 p.m., the Atlantic Paranormal Society team shuts off the lights and goes to work. Infrared cameras and digital audio recorders will record from six rooms through the night. Hawes and Wilson begin by monitoring the camera feeds on a computer screen in the main bar area.

A small ball of light appears on-screen from one of the upper floors and shoots across the room. Wilson types into a computer log: "11:50 light anomaly" and zooms in to review the footage.

"It's a freaking bug," Hawes grumbles.

After midnight, they head to the basement with their thermal imager displaying objects in the room in a rainbow of blue, green, yellow and red, depending on their temperature. Besides the image on the screen, the basement's pitch black.

They stop by a wall, noting a blue blob on the gadget — there's a trail through the room that's 10-degrees colder than the surrounding air.

"It looks like a human shape," Hawes tells Wilson. "It's stops with your knees and it's as high up as your head."

A ghost? They can't say for sure. Hawes and Wilson will spend hours in the coming days reviewing recordings and examining other evidence before returning to the brewery with their conclusions.

"About 80-to-85 percent of the time, you're able to disprove the claims," Hawes says. "That's not to saying the 15-to-20 percent that's left, it's actually a ghost. It's saying it's paranormal — meaning above the normal."

They've managed to capture some spooky stuff on tape for "Ghost Hunters." At Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, they filmed what looks like a caped figure swooping toward the camera, then quickly retreating.

A show taped at a National Guard armory in New Bedford, Mass., caught footage of their sound technician knocked flat when the 40-pound equipment bag at his waist swung up to smack him in the face. A tavern in Ashland, Mass., yielded a recording of a whispering voice that seems to say, "I am not dead."

___

On The Net:

http://www.the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com

http://http://www.scifi.com/ghosthunters/

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Boy With 12 Fingers (and 13 Toes)

Boy With 12 Fingers (and 13 Toes)

Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq, Afghanistan

US President George W. Bush allegedly said God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, a new BBC documentary will reveal, according to details.

Bush made the claim when he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and then foreign minister Nabil Shaath in June 2003, the ministers told the documentary series to be broadcast in Britain later this month.

The US leader also told them he had been ordered by God to create a Palestinian state, the ministers said.

Shaath, now the Palestinian information minister, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God.

'God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan'.'

"And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq...' And I did.

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger

By RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press Writer Thu Oct 6, 1:02 PM ET

In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official.

In a 34-page opinion, the justices said a Superior Court judge should have required Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before ordering Comcast Cable Communications to disclose the identities of four anonymous posters to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News.

UFO-spotters tell tales of the extra-terrestrial

UFO-spotters tell tales of the extra-terrestrial

By Jude WebberWed Oct 5, 8:55 AM ET


One minute Jonathan Reed was hiking with his golden retriever in a forest in Seattle. The next, his pet was being torn apart by a "gray" -- an alien being with an elongated head, smelling of rotting fruit.

A scene from a sci-fi film? No, maintains Reed, a former child-developmental psychologist who says he took the alien home and lived with it for nine days in which it communicated via telepathy and was able to pull thoughts from his mind.

Reed and others -- including Uruguayan Rafael Ulloa who says aliens in spaceships spirited away people from New York's twin towers in the September 11, 2001, attacks -- gather in Lima this week for a world extra-terrestrial congress.

Peru has long been a mecca for mystics and there have been abundant reports of flying saucers, especially over the southern town of Chilca. Some locals reckon aliens imbued mud springs there with special curative and fertility powers.

The congress, organized by the Alfa y Omega group that believes a fleet of UFOs will fly to Earth at the end of the world and Christ could use one for his second coming, during its October 6-9 run will pore over photos and grainy films of bright flashes and spooky shapes they say point to alien life forms.

Retired U.S. air force Lt. Col Donald Ware, 69, told a news conference Tuesday his first contact with aliens was in 1953, when he saw seven spacecraft flying over Washington, D.C.

He spotted no signs of extra-terrestrial life during his service, but said he had seen alien craft eight times since retiring in 1982.

Seeing isn't always believing. Wendelle Stevens, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, said he believed in aliens after having investigated 100 cases, despite never having seen any himself.

Stevens, thought to have the largest archive of photographs of alleged UFOs in the world, says he worked from 1947-49 in Alaska with B-29 planes fitted with special scientific instruments to "detect the visitors."

His work there began the year the U.S. military is believed by some to have hushed up two purported crashes of alien spacecraft within a month. The Air Force denies the stories.

Stevens, who said he did not believe in aliens before his work, said it was his job to debrief the crews of the B-29s and recounted how "the radio frequency spectrum went completely haywire ... and the temperature in the airplane increased. (The crew) looked out and there's a disc next door," he said.

He said the crew shot photographs with four different types of camera, but the military suppressed the pictures. No Air Force spokespersons could immediately comment on his remarks.

One of the most unusual testimonies comes from Reed on his 1996 experience with the alien he came to call Freddie.

Reed, who says he has a bracelet belonging to the extra-terrestrial, said Freddie had skin "almost like that of a pig." It breathed and had red blood, but did not speak. Tests showed he had 46 chromosomes, like humans, but 9 were different and resembled those of dolphins and sea turtles, Reed added.

Aliens enthusiasts and UFO spotters are used to raised eyebrows, ridicule and worse. Reed says he was shot after his alien encounter and blames a "government faction which doesn't want this information out."

But his close encounter with the alien with slanting eyes and a slit mouth "proved to me we are living in a much bigger universe," he said.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

17-inch TFT LCD Flat Panel Monitor w/Spkrs (Black)

Awesome deal!

Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator - Yahoo! News

Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator - Yahoo! News: "By DENISE KALETTE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 37 minutes ago




MIAMI - The alligator has some foreign competition at the top of the Everglades food chain, and the results of the struggle are horror-movie messy."

A 13-foot Burmese python recently burst after it apparently tried to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole, authorities said.

The incident has heightened biologists' fears that the nonnative snakes could threaten a host of other animal species in the Everglades.

"It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top-down predator," said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

Over the years, many pythons have been abandoned in the Everglades by pet owners.

The gory evidence of the latest gator-python encounter — the fourth documented in the past three years — was discovered and photographed last week by a helicopter pilot and wildlife researcher.

The snake was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection. Mazzotti said the alligator may have clawed at the python's stomach as the snake tried to digest it.

In previous incidents, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

"There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons," Mazzotti said. "This indicates to me it's going to be an even draw. Sometimes alligators are going to win and sometimes the python will win."

It is unknown how many pythons are competing with the thousands of alligators in the Everglades, but at least 150 have been captured in the past two years, said Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker.

Pythons could threaten many smaller species that conservationists are trying to protect, including other reptiles, otters, squirrels, woodstorks and sparrows, Mazzotti said.

Wasilewski said a 10- or 20-foot python also could pose a risk to an unwary human, especially a child. He added, however, "I don't think this is an imminent threat. This is not a `Be afraid, be very afraid' situation.'"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

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LOS ANGELES, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Oscar-winning creative team behind the "The Lord of the Rings" films, including director Peter Jackson, has been named to run the production of the upcoming film based on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) blockbuster "Halo" video game, the company said on Tuesday.

Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, will serve as the executive producers for "Halo," which is targeted for worldwide release in mid-2007 by Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox film studios.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Warming Causes Record Arctic Ice Melt - US Report

NEW YORK - The Arctic ice shelf has melted for the fourth straight year to its smallest area in a century, driven by rising temperatures that appear linked to a buildup of greenhouse gases, US scientists said on Wednesday.

Scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which have monitored the ice via satellites since 1978, say the total Arctic ice in 2005 will cover the smallest area since they started measuring.

It is the least amount of Arctic ice in at least a century, according to both the satellite data and shipping data going back many more years, according to a report from the groups.

As of Sept. 21, the Arctic sea ice area had dropped to 2.05 million square miles (5.31 million square km), the report said.

From 1978 to 2000, the sea ice area averaged 2.70 million square miles (7 million square km), the report said. It noted the melting trend had shrunk Inuit hunting grounds and endangered polar bears, seals and other wildlife.

The report warns that if melting rates continue, the summertime Arctic may be completely ice-free before the end of the century, echoing last year's findings from the Arctic Council, an eight-nation report by 250 experts.

The melting trend increasingly appeared to be caused by a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the scientists said.

"It's increasingly difficult to argue against the notion that at least part of what we are seeing in the Arctic, in terms of sea ice, in terms of warming temperatures ... is due to the greenhouse effect," Mark Serreze, a research scientist at NSIDC, said in an interview.

"We've put a hit on the system and we are in the midst of a grand global experiment," Serreze said about the impact of global warming and ice melting on humans and animals. "We will have to live with the outcome."

The NSIDC, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder, helps NASA analyze satellite data.

Most scientists believe greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide that is released mainly from cars and utility smokestacks, cause global warming by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. Many believe global warming can lead to catastrophic consequences, including raising sea levels and strengthening weather events such as hurricanes.

One Arctic variation, known as Arctic Oscillation, an atmospheric circulation pattern that can push sea ice out of the area, had become less of an influence in the region since the mid-1990s, the report said.

Inuit hunters threatened by the melting of Arctic ice plan to file a petition in December accusing the United States of violating their human rights by fueling global warming. The Bush administration has opted out of the Kyoto Treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Inuit number about 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

Scientists say the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the globe because water or bare earth, once uncovered, soaks up more heat than ice and snow. That process means melting can spur even warmer temperatures and more melting.

Story by Timothy Gardner

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

CNN.com Offbeat Images


A 2-1/2 week old aardvark scratches its hind leg Wednesday at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.