Finally Friday  5-14-2010
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Finally Friday 5-14-2010

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Finally Friday  5-14-2010 Finally Friday 5-14-2010 Presentation Transcript

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  • Bill Gates funds cloud factory The planet-saving billionaire just funded a new geoengineering project which seeks to stop climate change. But some environmentalists are very worried.     Tue, May 11 2010 at 1:14 AM EST     Geoengineering – the science of altering the earth’s life support systems – is officially a reality. San Francisco-based research institute Silver Lining just received $300,000 of seed funding from Bill Gates to test a “cloud whitening” technology that could prove a cost-effective method for slowing the effects of global warming .   Earlier this year at TED Gates surprised the world by pronouncing that climate change was the single greatest threat to humanity and that he would be joining the effort to find rapidly deployable energy technologies that could get us of the #1 cause of climate change – coal and oil. But the new venture shows the billionaire genius is looking at the problem from multiple angles.   The most promising energy technologies (with the exception of distributed solar) are still a decade or more away. Next gen nuclear, the most promising of all technologies, is probably 20 away. And it’s becoming clearer every day that our planet and our species cannot afford 10 more years of uninterrupted warming.   In the interim, geoengineering solutions such as cloud creation may help to slow the impacts of ongoing fossil fuel consumption as we transition to safer, cleaner and cooler fuels. Some pretty whacky ideas have been put forth before Congress (link to my story on Royal Society presenting to Congress) including rockets loaded with mirrors that could orbit around the Earth reflecting away sunlight and mechanical “trees” that could soak up more CO2 than a regular forest.   The cloud whitening technology seems to be the most readily deployable. Basically a fleet of ships equipped with screens & vacuums pump up millions of gallons of ocean water and using high-powered water canons introduce the water some 3000 feet in the air, where clouds are formed. The added moisture content would increase the thickness of the water vapor, making the clouds whiter and thus more reflective.   Of course this, as all other geoengineering solutions, are not without environmental impacts. No one really knows exactly what happens when humans alter the atmosphere in such a way. A global coalition of environmentalists called HOME (Hands Off Mother Earth) is calling for a moratorium on geoengineering experiments until the international laws on geoengineering being discussed this week in a UN scientific meeting in Nairobi are clarified. 
  • May 13, 2010 AP IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion , US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals Associated Press MEXICO CITY MEXICO CITY (AP) — After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread. Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn't worked. "In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified." This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment. Nevertheless, his administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget.
  • Seaweed may halt swine flu spread May 6, 2010 12:41pm AEST Scientists have found the seaweed compound stops the swine flu virus from entering human cells. (ABC News) Tasmanian scientists have discovered a compound occuring naturally in seaweed which could help provide the key to beating swine flu. The Japanese seaweed Undaria arrived in Tasmania in ballast water more than 20 years ago. A compound in the seaweed acts as a natural defence against marine viruses and toxins. Scientists at a private laboratory near Hobart are convinced it is just as effective on humans. They have tested the compound against several viruses and say it profoundly inhibits the H1N1 virus. Researcher Dr Helen Fitton says viruses use receptors to get into cells, but this process is stopped in the presence of the seaweed compound. "The virus is unable to use its receptor to get into the cell," she said. Marinova Laboratories CEO Paul Garrott says he is anticipating immediate commercial interest and expects the compound will be used in nasal sprays, hand washes and tablets. "This whole class of fucoidan compounds have been shown to have very profound antiviral activities against a range of influenza strains, against a range of other viruses and coated viruses - we mentioned HIV, we mentioned the herpes simplex virus."
  • Earth may be too hot for humans by 2300: study     Tue May 11, 5:37 am ET SYDNEY (AFP) – Climate change could make much of the world too hot for human habitation within just three centuries, research released Tuesday showed. Scientists from Australia's University of New South Wales and Purdue University in the United States found that rising temperatures in some places could mean humans would be unable to adapt or survive. "It would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about seven degrees Celsius (13 Fahrenheit), calling the habitability of some regions into question," the researchers said in a paper. "With 11-12 degrees Celsius warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed." Researcher Professor Steven Sherwood said there was no chance of the earth heating up to seven degrees this century, but there was a serious risk that the continued burning of fossil fuels could create the problem by 2300. "There's something like a 50/50 chance of that over the long term," he said. The study -- which examined climate change over a longer period than most other research -- looked at the "heat stress" produced by combining the impact of rising temperatures and increased humidity. Sherwood said climate change research had been "short-sighted" not to probe the long-term consequences of the impact of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
  • Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary The Consumerist
  • Hotel’s ATM Dispenses Gold Bars 05/13/10 - “ Abu Dhabi’s top hotel is upping the ante in the race for Gulf glitz: adding a gold-dispensing machine . The ATM-style kiosk in the Emirates Palace monitors the daily gold price and offers small bars up to 10 grams or coins with customized designs. It’s the idea of a German entrepreneur, Thomas Geissler, who began testing the cash-for-gold machines in his native country in 2009. The Abu Dhabi debut on Wednesday is billed as the first international foray for Geissler’s ‘Gold to Go’ brand.” w/ photo
  • Mexico’s Bling Guns 05/05/10 - Wacky News “ Mexican soldiers have seized an arsenal of gold-plated and diamond-encrusted weapons believed to belong to the Valencia gang, allies of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel and, it seems, fans of hip-hip excess . Showing just how flamboyant gang members spend much of their ill-gotten wealth, pictures show how most of the 31 ‘pimped’ pistols found in a raid on a home in western Mexico had gold or silver-plated grips or were glittered with diamonds. Three of the assault rifles are almost entirely gold-plated and there was even a silencer plated with gold. One particularly image-conscious gangster has made his pistol unique by adding rows of gaudy red and green jewels and a Ferrari logo.” w/ photos
  • Woman With No Arms Goes For Black Belt 05/05/10 – “Sheila Radziewicz has been beating the odds since birth. “I was not supposed to live,” she said. “Then I wasn’t ever supposed to walk.” Today, Radziewicz, 32, is not only walking, she is kicking. And next month she will test for her black belt in taekwondo. She walked into Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts in Peabody three years ago. Since then, the Route 1 studio has turned into a second home for Radziewicz, and her instructors and classmates have become an extended family. Reaching such heights in the realm of martial arts is laudable for anyone. For Radziewicz to do it is nearly a miracle .” w/ photo + video
  • Face Transplant Patient, Goes Public 05/04/10 – “ A Spanish man who underwent a partial face transplant in January has appeared in public for the first time , hugging his surgeon and thanking the donor’s family. The patient, identified only as Rafael, spoke in a labored voice Tuesday at a news conference at the Seville hospital where he underwent surgery. The patient’s age was not given. Doctors replaced the bottom two-thirds of his face because of a congenital disease that left it deformed with benign tumors.” w/ photos
  • Hudson woman 'attacks husband for being bad in bed'   news.com.au May 06, 2010 12:54PM    A US woman has been accused of stabbing her husband with scissors because she was unhappy with his performance in bed. Michelle Thomas, 26, was arrested on Tuesday after police were called around 1am to the couple’s house in the east Texas town of Hudson, Lufkin Daily News reports. The man told police Ms Thomas became angry with him after a sex session left her unsatisfied. He said Ms Thomas grabbed a pair of scissors and began slashing him, according to court papers. The court affidavit states police found the man with superficial cuts to his chest, thumb and knee. Ms Thomas alleges her partner was drunk, threw her onto the bed and began choking her. But police found no injuries on Ms Thomas, according to the affidavit. The man said he only touched Ms Thomas during the sexual encounter. Ms Thomas was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, although the man told officers he didn’t want to press charges, according to Lufkin Daily News . Ms Thomas faces up to 20 years in jail.
  • Classic Car, Modern Style 05/06/10 – “Dig the style of a 1930s coach-built concourse winner, but are merely moderately rich and actually want to drive the car on the road? The Delahaye Bugnotti Roadster recreates the timeless look with a modern LS1 V8 . Penned by Chip Foose with the intention of referencing the mid-‘30s Delahayes and Bugattis, the Bugnotti Roadster is actually an asymetric design, with chrome skins on the right side pontoons and no skins on the left. Delahaye apparently couldn’t decide which look to go with, so it opted for both.” w/ photos
  • Brit builds ultimate Road Rocket   A British man is burning up the streets of Los Angeles with the ultimate trike - a self-made 200mph monster he calls the Road Rocket. Tim Cotterill, originally from Knighton, Leicestershire, originally sketched out his design 30 years ago. But it wasn't until he created a popular range of bronze frog sculptures that he had the financial clout to realise his dream. Now based in Santa Cruz, California, the 60-year-old is the proud owner of a three-wheeler that is so fast it even has a built-in parachute to slow it down. Work began in 2006, when Mr Cotterill drafted in specialist bike makers the Blastolene Brothers to start bringing his hand-drawn design to life, and was completed this year. The result is a five metre-long, 1225kg trike with a 1000bhp engine and handlebars so wide it took engineers 23 attempts to come up with a steering mechanism that worked. "I have to say it really has exceeded all my expectations and fulfilled my wildest dreams," said Mr Cotterill. "I did get it up to 160mph on a straight stretch of road in the high desert and actually deployed the Simpson parachute just for the heck of it." But it's unlikely to win any green fans: "It'll return 3mpg around town, though the engine builder assured me not to worry as I'd get 4mpg when it was fully run in!" Mr Cotterill will not confirm how much it cost to get his trike on the road except to say it was "a substantial six-figure dollar sum".
  • BREAKING NEWS– Canada Extradites Prince of Pot Marc Emery May 11, 2010 Self-proclaimed “Great Canadian”, marijuana activist and hero, president of the B.C. Marijuana Party, and Vancouver Canucks fan, Mark Emery, turned himself in this morning for extradition to the United States and a five year prison sentence for selling marijuana seeds over the internet to Americans from Canada. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson signed the extradition order this morning. Emery has been out on bail since last fall while Nicholson considered going through with sending Emery, who’s been eligible for extradition since early January, to the US. And, in keeping pace with history, the Canadian government has never refused an American request for extradition. “I think of myself as a great Canadian – I’ve worked my whole life for individual freedom in this country, I’ve never asked for anything in return,” Emery said outside B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver, this morning.
  • AP Exclusive: Playboy `Readers' Get 3-D Centerfold AP Exclusive: Playboy `readers' get to see centerfold like Hef does; 3-D glasses in June issue The Associated Press May 11, 2010 (AP) Playboy readers who can only imagine what it would look like if a centerfold jumped right off the page are getting new specs to help them see into Hef's world. The magazine's June edition hits newsstands Friday equipped with 3-D glasses. Now the toy that has kids dodging dragons, meatballs and tall blue aliens at the movies will help adults focus on what is, at first glance, a very blurry Playmate of the Year. "What would people most like to see in 3-D?" asked Playboy founder Hugh Hefner . "Probably a naked lady."
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  • Cover controversy? Naked ambition doesn't cut it Stars naked on covers may sell magazines, but can it still stir up controversy? Not likely. Proudly showing off her growing baby bump, supermodel Claudia Schiffer poses nude for the June cover of Vogue Germany. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld shot the glowing mom in a pose that is nearly identical to Demi Moore's infamous 1991 Vanity Fair cover in which the actress posed in the buff at seven-months pregnant. Schiffer, 39, who announced her pregnancy in January, is expecting a baby girl with husband, director Matthew Vaughn, in May. The couple are already parents to Caspar, 7, and Clementine, 5.
  • Breast pillows not sexy, say makers AFP May 11, 2010 11:31PM   A CROATIAN home furnishings company says the design of it's new product, soft woolly pillows shaped like big women's breasts, should not put off potential buyers. The wool-stuffed D-cup pillows called Dude, or Tits in Croatian, are designed not with sex in mind but for their healthy, anatomical shape, the Globus company says on its website www.globustrgovina.biz . But curious shoppers are proving too prudish to buy them, the pillow designer Goran Tonkicwas was quoted as saying by the Vecernji List daily newspaper. "The interest for the pillow is big," he said. "But potential buyers are mostly only having a look for the time being. Many are afraid to put it on a sofa in the living room. "I don't see where is the problem since its shape is anatomical, provides a good sleep and has nothing to do with sex." The company, based in the eastern town of Slavonski Brod and specialised in the production of furniture, is looking for big sales overseas and intends to market the product in the European Union.
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  • British man in court over 'pornographic' sex squid snap The Sun in London NewsCore May 13, 2010 12:49AM     AN alleged pervert from Wales is accused of possessing a photo of a man having sex with a squid. Andrew Dymond, 46, was arrested after police allegedly found a stash of porn on his home computer, The Sun reported. He was charged with possessing "an extreme pornographic image which portrayed in an explicit and realistic way a person performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely a squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or of obscene character". Prosecutors amended the charge when it was admitted it could have been an octopus in the picture. The magistrates court in Swansea, southern Wales, heard the sea creature was clearly dead when the man was pictured having sexual intercourse with it. Dymond was also accused of possessing photographs of people having sex with dogs and horses, and faced 14 charges of making indecent images of children. Swansea magistrates committed him to stand trial at a later date. He was given bail on condition he does not access the internet or have any contact with a child under the age of 16.
  • 1978 Puch Board Track Racer   Do it yourself generally results in one of two things: a trip to the dumpster or calling a professional. But every once in a while something (like your kegerator) gets created that will make other men shed a tear or two of joy (but only on the inside). The 1978 Puch Board Track Racer is one of those rare examples of DIY gone right. With a taillight from a 39′ Ford, a gas tank from a drink machine, and a kill switch from an old Volkswagen, it’s the gasoline powered, two wheeled version of Frankenstein. $3100
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  • Goldfish Cracker Anatomy
  • William Shatner worth $600 million? Rumors on Wall Street say the actor's shares of Priceline.com are paying off handsomely. Thursday, May 8, 2010 1:46 PM   William Shatner made a name for himself on "Star Trek," but he's making his fortune from a travel website. Shatner has filmed advertisements for Priceline.com (PCLN) since 1997, and received shares in the company as part of his compensation. We don't know the starting value of the shares he has received over the years, but Priceline has gone from under $10 a decade ago to nearly $250 now. And the rumor on Wall Street is that Priceline has helped Shatner build his fortune to $600 million, according to Times Online . Not bad for a guy who was reportedly so broke after the original "Star Trek" series ended that he had to live out of a camper van. No wonder Shatner seems to relish every karate-chopping, stunt-driving , Bust-a-Moving moment of his Priceline spots. Shatner clearly doesn't take himself too seriously and hams it up at every chance, from telling Trekkie fans to "Get a life" on "Saturday Night Live" to reading Sarah Palin's tweets with Conan O'Brien.   The Times Online asked Shatner's agent to confirm the $600 million figure, but the agent did not respond, the newspaper reported.
  • Pot Activists Enlisting Moms For Legalization Push Associated Press May 10, 2010   DENVER --   Moms got tougher drunk-driving laws on the books and were directly responsible for passing and then repealing alcohol Prohibition. Now marijuana activists are trying to enlist the nation's mothers in legalization efforts with a sales pitch that pot is safer than booze. The nation's largest marijuana legalization lobby recently started a women's group. The Moms4Marijuana website draws thousands. And just in time for Mother's Day, a pot legalization group in Denver has created a pink-carnation web card asking moms to support legalization. These marijuana moms argue that pot is no worse than alcohol, that teens shouldn't face jail time for experimenting with it and that marijuana can even help new mothers treat postpartum depression. "I know so many mothers who support this but aren't willing to come out and say it," said Sabrina Fendrick, head of the Women's Alliance at the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. Marijuana activists say they need more moms to publicly back pot use if they are to succeed with public officials. "The mother is the first teacher, who you turn to for direction in life," said Serra Frank, a 27-year-old mother of two in Boise, Idaho, who founded Moms4Marijuana in 2005. It has no formal membership, but Frank says its website has had more than 12,000 visitors.
  • Man arrested for growing pot in TV MAy 7, 2010 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution A Snellville man is behind bars after marijuana was found growing in his TV.   Gwinnett County Sheriff’s deputies found the marijuana and the TV while evicting Warren English from his home Wednesday. Six marijuana plants were found growing from the back of a hollowed out big screen TV, police said. English and his family, which includes two kids under 6 years old, were evicted from a home on Wethersfield Road. English faces a charge of manufacturing marijuana and is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
  • Holland Seeks Pot Ban for Tourists Court told ban would violate free trade deals May 6, 10 (Newser) – Holland's famous cannabis cafes will only be open to Dutch smokers if government officials win a case at the European Court of Justice. Attorneys for the government—seeking to clamp down on cross-border drug tourism—say the nation has the right to ban foreigners from coffee shops that serve pot. Lawyers for a coffee shop owner argue that discriminating between Dutch and non-Dutch customers, even when contraband is involved, violates European Union free trade agreements, Der Speigel reports.
  • Cynthia Nixon describes fiancee Christine Marinoni as 'a short man with boobs' DAILY NEWS Tuesday, May 11th 2010     Cynthia Nixon first met Christine Marinoni in 2001 when she was taking up the cause to fight budget cuts at her daughter's school.
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2010 Topless, tipsy woman accused of theft, DUI Nevada Appeal Staff Reports A 41-year-old Gardnerville woman, intoxicated and topless , was hospitalized Monday after she reportedly stole a bottle of wine from a Gardnerville grocery store and nearly drove into a fast food restaurant in the midst of a raging snow squall. According to witnesses, a woman identified as Brandi Smith, was driving erratically before pulling into the parking lot at Scolari's grocery store. Smith, naked from the waist up, entered Scolari's and left without paying for a $20 bottle of wine. The store provided video footage of Smith. One of the clerks said he confronted her about her lack of clothing and said, “She just walked right past me,” without acknowledging him and left the store. She got into her car and drove toward Burger King. She stopped near the entrance to the drive-through with the right front tire over the curb and in the landscaping. She was met by an off-duty sheriff's deputy who removed the keys from the ignition and held the driver's door closed to keep her in the vehicle. Paramedics took her to Carson Valley Medical Center for treatment. A preliminary breath test at the center indicated a breath-alcohol content of .144, nearly twice the legal limit. The sheriff's office originally was contacted by a motorist who reported the driver of a black Corvette driving erratically from Tillman and Dresslerville in the Gardnerville Ranchos, down Centerville, nearly hitting the abutment at Lutheran bridge. He followed the car to the shopping center and watched Smith exit the vehicle and enter the store. A search of her records indicated two prior convictions of driving under the influence in California in 2008 and 2009. Her California driver's license is suspended and there is no record of a Nevada license. She also is on probation in Douglas County for an October theft of beer from the Tillman Lane 7-Eleven. She remained hospitalized for observation, according to reports.
  • Swedes fantasize about group sex: study 11 May 10 07:48 CET thelocal.se   Swedes are least satisfied with their sex lives while they fantasise the most about group sex, according to a new survey of sexually active people in four Nordic countries.  The new study, the annual "Kådiskollen" (literally: condom check) by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning - RFSU), also showed that 65 percent of 15-20-year-olds had engaged in unprotected sex. "This figure is far too high, it has to be improved," said Maria Bergström at RFSU. The survey interviewed 5,497 people in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway between the ages of 15-74 who stated that they had sex at least once a week. The Swedes in the study reported that they are the most dissatisfied with 28 percent reporting that they were "not at all" or "not really" happy with their sex lives. While the Finns were as unhappy with their sex lives, the Norwegians and the Danes were happier. The figures correspond through the ages with 28 percent Swedes aged 15-20-years-old reporting an unfulfilled sex life. The Swedes in the study are the most active with regard to sexual fantasies however, with 37 percent dreaming about about group sex. This is the fantasy that tops the wishes of people in all four Nordic countries.
  • Mother of 12-year-old-girl-turned-dominatrix sentenced to 15 years May. 8 2010 @ 7:00AM   BDSM was only some of the things a 12-year-old girl was taught. ​The mother of a 12-year-old girl who was trained to be a dominatrix and prostituted was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution. The mother isn't being named to protect the girl's identity.  The case is something out of Law & Order: SVU . The girl's 46-year-old mother allowed a former Blue Springs man named Todd Barkau to rape the girl, train her to be a dominatrix and prostitute her between January 2002 and February 2005. Mom even watched her daughter perform with the men -- and got paid by Barkau. When the girl turned 14, Barkau advertised her on the Internet as a 19- to 20-year-old dominatrix. He called her "Mistress Alisha." The name was a hand-me-down from mom, who used the name when she was a stripper. Prosecutors alleged that over a two year period Barkau sold the girl's services as "Evil Mistress Alisha" to dominate men over the Internet as well as in person. "This included ... bondage, beatings, burning and genital mutilation." Just like eBay, the men paid via PayPal and also with "tributes," giving a DVD player, a cappuccino machine and other electronics in lieu of cash. The mother and Barkau pleaded guilty in federal court in September to sex trafficking charges. Barkau is expected to receive 25 years in federal prison; his sentencing has not yet been scheduled. The mother becomes the first parent ever to be charged with commercial sex trafficking of a blood relative.
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  • Remembering Vietnam …..35 years later.
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  • The body of an American paratrooper killed in action in the jungle near the Cambodian border is raised up to an evacuation helicopter in War Zone C, Vietnam in 1966.
  • AnnaLynne McCord
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