September 26, 2009 "Asteroid Impacts are the Biggest Threat to Advanced Life in the Milky Way“ -Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking believes that one of the major factors in the possible scarcity of intelligent life in our galaxy is the high probability of an asteroid or comet colliding with inhabited planets. We have observed, Hawking points out in Life in the Universe , the collision of a comet, Schumacher-Levi, with Jupiter (below), which produced a series of enormous fireballs, plumes many thousands of kilometers high, hot "bubbles" of gas in the atmosphere, and large dark "scars" on the atmosphere which had lifetimes on the order of weeks. It is thought the collision of a rather smaller body with the Earth, about 70 million years ago, was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. A few small early mammals survived, but anything as large as a human, would have almost certainly been wiped out. Through Earth's history such collisions occur, on the average every one million year. If this figure is correct, it would mean that intelligent life on Earth has developed only because of the lucky chance that there have been no major collisions in the last 70 million years. Other planets in the galaxy, Hawking believes, on which life has developed, may not have had a long enough collision free period to evolve intelligent beings. “The threat of the Earth being hit by an asteroid is increasingly being accepted as the single greatest natural disaster hazard faced by humanity,” according to Nick Bailey of the University of Southampton's School of Engineering Sciences team, who has developed a threat identifying program. Early results indicate that in terms of population lost, China, Indonesia, India, Japan and the United States face the greatest overall threat; while the United States, China, Sweden, Canada and Japan face the most severe economic effects due to the infrastructure destroyed. The top ten countries most at risk are China, Indonesia, India, Japan, the United States, the Philippines, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Nigeria.
China's Growing Nuclear Arsenal To Be Balanced with US Hypersonic Missiles Front page / World / Asia 28.09.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru China prepares to leave Russia and the USA behind on the number of nuclear warheads. China increases its nuclear arsenal while Russia and the USA negotiate its reduction. The Chinese military will demonstrate state-of-the-art military hardware, including new ballistic missiles, at the parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Republic, which will take place on October 1. In 1999, when China was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the nation, the administration of the country said that China’s missile and nuclear forces, which the nation would build in ten years, would correspond to the country’s place in the world hierarchy. US experts said that China had doubled its nuclear and missile potential over the above-mentioned period. The modern-day nuclear forces of China are based on latest technologies and are capable of reaching such distant targets as Washington. The DF-41 mobile missile system is expected to become the main attraction of the military parade in China. The new system, the CIA said, is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 13,000 kilometers. It will be extremely hard to intercept Chinese ballistic missiles topped with ten dispensing warheads. China will also unveil the ground-based CSS-X-10 and the sea-based JL-2 missiles during the parade on October 1. The new Dong Hai 10 (DH-10) cruise missile is also interesting: it is developed on the base of the nuclear-capable Soviet X-55 cruise missile. China already has 200 such missiles, US special services say. Many of them are deployed in the southern part of the country and are targeted against Taiwan. Why does China want to demonstrate its new powerful nuclear potential at the time when the United States and Russia are negotiating its reduction? China wants the USA to know that it is ready to respond to any challenge. “The USA will be paying more attention to Russia as long as the nuclear attention of Russia is larger than that of China. Nevertheless, the USA’s concerns about China’s growing nuclear potential have been growing steadily, of course. There is a certain amount of rivalry between the two countries, but they are not going to wage war with each other. They are strongly dependent on each other economically – their economic relations determine their politics,” Pavel Zolotarev, a military expert with the Institute for the USA and Canada, told Pravda.Ru. The USA does not sit on its hands either, though. The country has been developing high-accuracy hypersonic weapons that are capable of striking the territory of an enemy in mere minutes. To put it in a nutshell, up to 90 percent of ballistic missiles will be destroyed before they could be launched. The rest will be destroyed with the help of the structured missile defense system, which Washington has been working on for years already.
WATER SCARCITY Today a third of humanity is suffering from water scarcity. Specialists use the term “water stress” when the demand for water exceeds the available freshwater supply by 10%. Although 10% of renewable resource may not seem like much, we should not forget that before mankind’s invention, 100% of this water was used by ecosystems. This extra demand is enough to dry a water course, drain a spring, or prevent the replenishment of groundwater. While the population of Canada and the Amazon or Congo basin have a plentiful water supply, the people of the Mediterranean basin, Central Asia and Mexico are at greater risk of scarcity. The particular problem with water is that it is difficult to transport in large quantities over great distances. One solution is to use the same water several times. An increasing number of industries are reusing water, retreating it up to 30 times in some cases. Domestic washwater, known as “greywater,” can be reused to water a garden or flush a toilet, reserving drinkable water for human consumption, cooking, or washing. In countries where water is scarce, wastewater from cities is retreated for use in agriculture. In Israel, for example, where the average rainfall is 1 inch (25 mm) a year, 70% of wastewater is recycled, allowing 49,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of land to be watered. Moshav (co-operative village) farm at Nahalal, Jezrael plain, Israel
The First Billion-Dollar Athlete September 28th, 2009 There is no recession for Tiger Woods. Our calculations show that the $10 million bonus Woods earned for the FedEx Cup title nudged him over the $1 billion mark in career earnings. Forbes has been tracking athlete earnings since before Tiger turned pro in 1996. Woods had earned a cumulative $895 million going into 2009 by our estimates from prize money, appearance fees, endorsements and his golf course design business. If you add in his $10.5 million in 2009 prize money, the FedEx bonus and his take so far this year from his annual $100+ million in off-the-course earnings, Woods' career earnings are now 10-figures. Only Woods' accountant knows if Tiger is a billion athlete yet, but if it did not happen on Sunday it is likely only a matter of months or his next check from Nike. Woods has been the world's highest-paid athlete since 2002 when he surpassed Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher. His earnings have surged in recent years as he launched a golf course design business and has three courses underway that pay him more than $10 million per project. The launch of the FedEx Cup has been a bonus for Woods who has taken the top $10 million top prize two of the Cup's three years (a knee injury prevented his participation last year). It is Nike though that has been Woods' most lucrative partner. The relationship has been hugely beneficial for both parties as Nike launched a golf division from scratch on the back of Woods and sales are now $800 million annually. Nike pays Woods north of $30 million annually for his ringing endorsement. The scary part is that Woods is only 33-years-old and might have 15 years of competitive golf left in him and 30+ years of designing golf courses. This is only the first $1 billion for Woods. --
Ted Nugent Threatens to Kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton During Vicious Onstage Rant 8/24/07, 1:20 pm EST Renegade right-winger Ted Nugent recently went on a vicious onstage rant in which he threatened the lives of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued. “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” Nugent summed up his eloquent speech by screaming “freedom!” This isn’t the first time Nugent has been caught spewing hatred. Last January, the guitarist caused a scandal for Republican Texas governor Rick Perry when he wore a Confederate flag shirt and insulted immigrants at Perry’s inauguration event. In July, Nugent was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story blaming “stoned, dirty, stinky hippies” for “rising rates of divorce, high school drop-outs, drug use, abortion, sexual diseases and crime, not to mention the exponential expansion of government and taxes.”
500-Carat Diamond September 30, 2009 “ One of the biggest diamonds ever found has been discovered at a mine in South Africa . The rough 507-carat white stone was unearthed at the historic Cullinan mine – where the famous Cullinan diamond, the largest in the world, was discovered in 1905. A spokesman for mining firm Petra Diamond said the gemstone found last week was among the world’s 20 largest diamonds ever discovered. He added: ‘Initial examinations indicate that it is of exceptional colour and clarity, and most likely to be a Type I diamond. ‘At 507 carats (just over 100 grams) the diamond, which has yet to be named, is considered to be amongst the top 20 largest high quality rough diamonds ever found worldwide. It ranks alongside other illustrious diamonds recovered at the celebrated Cullinan mine.”
Running past wreckage and body parts, Afghan policemen secure the scene of a blast in Kabul September 17, 2009. A suicide bomber hit a NATO military vehicle on a road between the U.S. embassy and the main airport in the centre of the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians.
A handout image obtained on September 10, 2009, from Britain's Ministry of Defence shows a female Afghan National Police (ANP) officer receiving weapons training on a Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol. The first thirteen female ANP recruits will soon be joining their male counterparts.
Pfc. Shiquinn Bell from Holly Hill, S.C., a member of the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, plays his guitar at a base in Zerok District, East Paktika province in Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.
Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, fire a 120mm mortar during a fire mission at the combat outpost Zerok in East Paktika province in Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.
A Canadian soldier works out using a makeshift weight made from barbed wire and rods, in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 23, 2009.
A German soldier sits next to candles lit to celebrate his 34th birthday, during a long term patrol in Yaftal e Sofla, in the mountainous region of Feyzabad, east of Kunduz, Afghanistan, early Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009.
Canadian Researchers Develop Device Capable Of Accurate Prostate Cancer Diagnosis In 30 Minutes 2009-09-28 - AHN Toronto, Canada (AHN) -- Toronto University researchers have come up with a device that has the capability to accurately diagnose prostate cancer in 30 minutes. With the use of microchip technology, Toronto University engineering professor Ted Sargent said the severity of tumors could be determined using only a urine sample, doing away with the need for a biopsy. The device is the size of a Blackberry. Sargent said their aim it to have the device ready for use in hospitals in the new two to three years to detect other forms of cancer and infectious diseases. The nanometer-sized meshing on the microchip is programmed to detect DNA sequences and proteins produced only by specific cancers or pathogens. The urine sample is placed on the chip and a chip reader analyzes the markers it finds in the sample, study co-author Shana Kelley said. Aside from the kind of cancer, the chip also provides information on the stage and severity of the tumor. Sargent and Kelley's study came out Sunday in the Nature Nanotechnology journal. The publication of the study came a day after the university got a $5 million grant over five years from the federal government which would created nine new networks as part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's Strategic Network Grants program. The Network for Bioplasmonic Systems will accelerate cancer diagnosis by tapping plasmonics into current procedures which uses cancer markers on cell surfaces. Gilbert Walker of the university's Department of Chemistry said in a statement, "Our first goal is to determine the presence of lung cancer at an earlier stage than is currently possible, which will permit faster screening. Our second goal is to develop similar devices for detecting leukemia that will greatly decrease the time needed for diagnosis."
FOXSexpert: The Real Reasons Women Have Sex Monday, September 21, 2009 “Why Women Have Sex.” Given the stereotype that women are never in the mood, it’s not surprising that this book title is grabbing people’s attention. Written by researchers Cindy Meston and David Buss , the work flushes out the results of a survey of 1,006 women. And their findings are all over the board; the authors highlight 200 reasons. So why do women have sex? The vast majority (84 percent) have sex to guarantee a quiet life or to persuade their men to do some housework. Some of the other reasons given in interviews include... 1. She’s alleviating boredom – it gives her something to do. 2. She wants to relieve a stress headache or migraine. 3. She’s trying to put an end to an argument. 4. She wants a better complexion. 5. She’s thanking her date for a nice dinner, a present, or spending a lot of money on her early on in the relationship. 6. She’s after a spiritual experience since sex is seen as “the closest thing to God.” 7. She’s refining her sexual skills. 8. She feels sorry for the fellow. 9. She likes that he has an extravagant lifestyle. 10. She’s in a long-distance relationship and wants action now versus later.
Ironically, romance and passion ranked low on females’ reasons for having sex. Instead, sex was viewed as being all about fun, with 60 percent of survey respondents admitting to regularly sleeping with a male friend who was not their boyfriend. Attraction, too, apparently ranks low on a lady’s list. What’s interesting to note about this factor is that while most men find most women sexually attractive, researchers said that the gals don’t see the guys in quite the same way. Women reported being attracted to men who were described as tall, having a deep voice, and smelling good. A male having a symmetrical body was also liked, indicating that he could give her strong children. Still, those men not living up to such visions can take comfort in her preference of men with lower levels of testosterone, since this suggests that he’s less likely to pursue others. It’s important to take these findings with a grain of salt. The way that they’ve been presented largely reinforces the idea that women aren’t sexual by nature as much as capable of using sex as a bargaining tool. Writings cast women as using sex manipulatively or to put up with a partner and her relationship. Then, muddling matters in terms of how to interpret results is the issue of women having sex versus wanting sex. These are two different factors in one’s sexual activity that aren’t being dealt with independently. Which reasons are ones where women desired sex or skin-on-skin contact? Which reasons felt instinctual? The University of Texas study has also been criticized for focusing solely on university students at the UT Austin campus who were mostly young and white. We have to remember that these are the results of one group of women — they’re not representative of all women. Still, the book’s press release claims that the work is the “richest and deepest psychological understanding of female sexuality.”
A Surfing Photography Legend September 21, 2009 51-year-old Brian Bielmann has been photographing surfers for over three decades, and has quite an impressive portfolio. Some of his greatest shots are featured today at the New York Times Lens, including one depicting other surf photogs diving for cover , which effectively communicates the strange, dangerous world these people work in.
'Hitler's Skull' Is A Woman's, Say DNA Tests Monday September 28, 2009 Sky News Online A skull long believed to be that of Adolf Hitler actually belonged to a woman, according to an American scientist who has taken DNA samples from it. They saved Hitler's skull - or so the Soviets said. But was it really his? The skull was taken by Soviet forces in 1945 when they found charred remains outside the Nazi dictator's bunker in Berlin. The Russians said at the time that the findings backed claims that Hitler had shot himself on April 30, 1945, and then been cremated along with his wife, Eva Braun. Now, however, archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni says the skull really belonged to a woman aged under 40 and not Hitler - who was 56 when he died. Neither does Mr Bellantoni believe the skull belongs to Braun, Hitler's long-time girlfriend and last-minute wife, who is thought to have killed herself by taking cyanide and would therefore not have had a bullet wound - as this skull has. The Russians say they have never claimed the skull itself was the chief reason for their belief the skull was Hitler's. Instead, they point to dental records as confirmation that Hitler killed himself. Some historians have believed for years that the Nazi dictator did not die in Berlin. There is no forensic evidence whatsoever that Hitler died in the bunker.
Farmer's daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47 Wednesday September 30 2009 An Indian farmer’s daughter disarmed a terrorist leader who broke into her home, attacked him with an axe and shot him dead with his own gun. Rukhsana Kausar, 21, was with her parents and brother in Jammu and Kashmir when three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants, forced their way in and demanded food and beds for the night. Their house in Shahdra Sharief, Rajouri district, is about 20 miles from the ceasefire line between Indian and Pakistani forces. It is close to dense forests known as hiding places for fighters from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attack last November. Militants often demand food and lodging in nearby villages. When they forced their way into Miss Kausar’s home, her father Noor Mohammad refused their demands and was attacked. His daughter was hiding under a bed when she heard him crying as the gunmen thrashed him with sticks. According to police, she ran towards her father’s attacker and struck him with an axe. As he collapsed, she snatched his AK47 and shot him dead. She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape. Police have hailed the woman’s bravery. They said she would be nominated for the president’s gallantry award. She may also receive a €4,500 reward if, as police believe, the dead terrorist is confirmed as Uzafa Shah, a wanted Pakistani LeT commander who had been active in the area for the past four years.
Free AK-47: No Purchase Necessary You used to have to buy a car to get a free assault rifle, but South Carolina Adjutant General (that’s the fancy way of saying “In charge of the state National Guard.”) hopeful Dean Allen aims to change that with his “ machine gun social .” Why? Because ice cream is for pansies and while guns are acceptable, bare breasts are frowned upon. The $25 “campaign contribution” got attendees barbecue, a clip of bullets (for target practice), and a chance to win the semi-automatic AK-47 assault rifle. The real question is, were there hot chicks firing the guns? The only thing that motivates men more than guns, explosions, and food… is breasts. Then again, this would have been happening all day: Women With Guns
5.11 Tactical Light for Life Flashlight This is the flashlight that all the other flashlight manufacturers don’t want you to know about. The 5.11 Tactical Light for Life Flashlight charges in 90 seconds and can run for several hours outputting 90 lumens before needing a recharge. We don’t understand much about the science behind their innovative Flashpoint Power charging system other continue reading… $169 Check It Out
Timberland Tackhead Winter Boots In need of great winter work boots? The old saying “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” doesn’t apply. Timberland Tackhead Winter Boots stand up to the same integrity of your grandfather’s work boots and have a hand-finished worn quality that gives them the same classic charm. It’s obvious why workers of the continue reading… $295
The Evel Knievel Children's Chopper It is the limited-edition children's replica of the street cruiser ridden by American motorcycle daredevil Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel. "Knievel, who set the world record by jumping over 19 cars, preferred riding his chopper when not performing stunts." Powered by a 12-volt motor and with top speed at 4 mph. The Evel Knievel Children's Chopper ($400) features a low-slung seat, high handlebars, extended front fork, chrome-finish trim, working headlight and training wheels.
Freedom Grill FG-900 A portable grill doesn’t have to be something you can fold up into the size of a suitcase. If you’ve got some serious hunger or a lot of mouths to feed then you need a grill that requires a truck to bring it with you. The Freedom Grill FG-900 attaches to the back of continue reading… $9899
Cars! Battle of the little green electric urban go-carts Nissan's Leaf is out next year; a year after that comes the Reva NXG , recently shown off at the Frankfurt motor show. It's a similarly equipped little plug-in, with the emissions of a butterfly and the driving range of a bee: it lasts 125 miles and can go 80 MPH. Perfect for Pittsburgh, but not so much for anything that involves tasks other than shopping and commuting. Unless it is making technologically suspect "MPG" claims, of course!
Tue Sep 22, 9:52 am ET A woman receives a chocolate facial treatment for 600 pesos ($12.56) at a beauty salon in Quezon City, Metro Manila September 22, 2009.
Poland okays forcible castration for pedophiles Fri Sep 25, 12:45 pm ET WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland on Friday approved a law making chemical castration mandatory for pedophiles in some cases, sparking criticism from human rights groups. Under the law, sponsored by Poland's center-right government, pedophiles convicted of raping children under the age of 15 years or a close relative would have to undergo chemical therapy on their release from prison. "The purpose of this action is to improve the mental health of the convict, to lower his libido and thereby to reduce the risk of another crime being committed by the same person," the government said in a statement. Prime Minister Donald Tusk said late last year he wanted obligatory castration for pedophiles, whom he branded 'degenerates'. Tusk said he did not believe "one can use the term 'human' for such individuals, such creatures." "Therefore I don't think protection of human rights should refer to these kind of events," Tusk also said.
Trucker flips his rig after masturbating while driving 24 Sep 09 14:24 CET A German trucker suspected of driving under the influence of drugs crashed his vehicle near Borås in western Sweden on Tuesday. He subsequently admitted to masturbating at the time of the accident. The trucker, apparently unable to reach a satisfactory climax, then proceeded to continue to pleasure himself while in the midst of a police interrogation, according to the local Borås Tidning newspaper. "He was masturbating while the police interrogated him," police prosecutor Åsa Askenbäck told the newspaper. "He has admitted that he was not paying full attention at the time of the accident. He was playing with himself instead of focusing on the road." The truck driver was en route from Gothenburg to Borås at around 4am on Tuesday morning. The truck and trailer flipped over when he rammed his vehicle into the central division on route 40 south of Borås. The upturned vehicle blocked all traffic towards Gothenburg and one lane was closed in the direction of Borås. The man remained in the vehicle with his hands apparently still clasped around his own gear stick and was subsequently arrested for reckless driving and driving while under the influence of drugs. The suspicions against the man have now been extended to sexual molestation. The German trucker, who is in his thirties, has admitted all of the charges directed against him. TT/The Local News