... Finally Friday...11-30-2007
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... Finally Friday...11-30-2007

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Selected news photos from the internet for the week prior to 11-30-07.

Selected news photos from the internet for the week prior to 11-30-07.

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... Finally Friday...11-30-2007 ... Finally Friday...11-30-2007 Presentation Transcript

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  • Trappist Command: Thou Shalt Not BuyToo Much of Our Beer November 29, 2007 WESTVLETEREN, Belgium -- The Trappist monks at St. Sixtus monastery have taken vows against riches, sex and eating red meat. They speak only when necessary. But you can call them on their beer phone. Cassandra Vinograd Monks have been brewing Westvleteren beer at this remote spot near the French border since 1839. Their brew, offered in strengths up to 10.2% alcohol by volume, is among the most highly prized in the world. In bars from Brussels to Boston, and online, it sells for more than $15 for an 11-ounce bottle -- 10 times what the monks ask -- if you can get it. For the 26 monks at St. Sixtus, however, success has brought a spiritual hangover as they fight to keep an insatiable market in tune with their life of contemplation. The monks are doing their best to resist getting bigger. They don't advertise and don't put labels on their bottles. They haven't increased production since 1946. They sell only from their front gate. You have to make an appointment and there's a limit: two, 24-bottle cases a month.
  • Saudi rape victim 'having affair' Saudi justice officials say a woman who was sentenced to prison and flogging after she was gang-raped has now confessed to an extramarital affair. The case of the unidentified woman, 19, drew international criticism after an appeal increased her 90-lash sentence to 200 lashes and six months' jail. The justice ministry statement rejected "foreign interference" in the case. It insisted the ruling was legal and that the woman had "confessed to doing what God has forbidden". The statement carried by the official press agency late on Saturday said the sentence would be carried out in accordance with Saudi law. The woman was initially to be punished for violating strict gender segregation laws in Saudi Arabia, for riding in the car of a man who was not related to her when they were both attacked. "The Saudi justice minister expressed his regret about the media reports over the role of the woman in this case which put out false information and wrongly defend her," the statement said. "The charged girl is a married woman who confessed to having an affair with the man she was caught with." Adultery is a punishable offence in Saudi Arabia's strict system of Islamic law, and correspondents say judges are given wide powers to impose custodial sentences or corporal punishment. The justice ministry statement is at odds with previous published testimony of the woman, who is a Shia Muslim from the Qatif area. She has reportedly said she met the car-owner in order to retrieve a photo of them together, having herself recently got married. She says two men entered the car and drove them to a secluded area where others were waiting, and both she and her male companion were raped. Her sentence was increased on appeal after judges wanted to punish her for attempting to use the media to influence the case. Her attackers' sentences - originally up to five years - were also doubled. The woman's companion was sentenced to 90 lashes.
  • Saudi: Why we punished rape victim   (CNN) -- The Saudi Justice Ministry Tuesday issued a "clarification" of a court's handling of a rape case and the increased punishment -- including 200 lashes --meted out to the victim. Human rights groups want Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to drop charges against the rape victim. The case, which has sparked media scrutiny of the Saudi legal system, centers on a married woman. The 19-year-old and an unrelated man were abducted, and she was raped by a group of seven men more than a year ago, according to Abdulrahman al-Lahim, the attorney who represented her in court. The woman was originally sentenced in October 2006 to 90 lashes. But that sentence was more than doubled to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Qatif General Court, because she spoke to the media about the case, a court source told Middle Eastern daily newspaper Arab News. Al-Lahim told CNN his law license was revoked last week by a judge because he spoke to the Saudi-controlled media about the case. In a statement issued to CNN, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir said, "This case is working its way through the legal process. I have no doubt that justice will prevail." The Justice Ministry acknowledged in its statement Tuesday that the attorney is no longer on the case, saying he was punished by a disciplinary committee for lawyers because he "exhibited disrespectful behavior toward the court, objected to the rule of law and showed ignorance concerning court instructions and regulations." It added that the permanent committee of the Supreme Judicial Council recommended an increased sentence for the woman after further evidence against her came to light when she appealed her original sentence. The judges of that committee also increased the sentences for the perpetrators based on the level of their involvement in the crime. Their sentences -- which had been two to three years in prison -- were increased to two to nine years, according to al-Lahim.
  •   Briton guilty of insulting Islam Associated Press A British teacher in Sudan was convicted Thursday of the less-serious charge of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear "Muhammad," and was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation to Britain, one of her lawyers said. Gillian Gibbons could have received 40 lashes and six months in prison in the case if found guilty of the more serious charge of inciting religious hatred and given the maximum penalty. Gibbons, 54, was arrested Sunday after complaints to the Education Ministry that she had insulted Prophet Muhammad, the most revered figure in Islam, by applying his name to a teddy bear. She was found guilty of "insulting the faith of Muslims in Sudan" under Article 125 of the Sudanese criminal code, a less-serious charge than the original count of inciting religious hatred, said Ali Mohammed Ajab, a member of her defense team. Gibbons' employer, Robert Boulos of the Unity High School, called it "a very fair verdict." "She could have had six months and lashes and a fine, and she only got 15 days and deportation," Boulos said. He noted that she would only spend 10 days in prison, having already served five. Gibbons is expected to serve her sentence in the Omdurman women's prison near Khartoum. Religious conservatives in Sudan were outraged by the naming of the teddy bear, and defense lawyers reported receiving death threats. "I am threatened, that's why I'm carrying a gun in court," defense lawyer Abdel Khalig Abdallah said, opening his coat to reveal a revolver during a break in the trial. (This version CORRECTS that Gibbons was convicted of insulting Islam, not inciting religious hatred.)
  • Google to invest millions into finding limitless sources of energy  28.11.2007    Google, the Internet company with a seemingly limitless source of revenue, plans to get into the business of finding limitless sources of energy. The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., announced Tuesday that it intended to develop and help stimulate the creation of renewable energy technologies that are cheaper than coal-generated power. Google said it would spend hundreds of millions of dollars, part of that to hire engineers and energy experts to investigate alternative energies like solar, geothermal and wind power. The effort is aimed at reducing Google’s own mounting energy costs to run its vast data centers, while also fighting climate change and helping to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Coins sell for $30 million TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — An anonymous buyer has paid more than $30 million for a collection of rare U.S. prototype coins, some from the 1700s, that never went into circulation, according to the dealer that brokered the deal. The collection consists of about 1,000 coins that collectors refer to as pattern coins — trial designs that never went into production because the U.S. Mint chose other designs. "This collection is an incredible collection. ... These were some of the first coins ever, ever struck by the United States government," said Laura Sperber, a partner in Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, N.J., which brokered the deal. The seller wanted to remain anonymous, and the buyer, concerned about security, agreed to be identified only as "Mr. Simpson, a Western states collector," Sperber said. "Both the buyer and the seller are very competitive people. And they're very successful in their careers, and they both love the romance and collectability of coins," Sperber said.
  • The Year's Poorest-Performing Cars FORBES Wednesday, November 21, 2007 Whether it's the tried-and-true Butterball, the more enigmatic Tofurkey or pricey "pastured" birds, turkey is simply what many of us ate for Thanksgiving. But we've come to know another type of turkey -- vehicles that, for some reason or another, have been problematic or simply haven't found their place in the market. Most have make-or-break issues with shoppers: recalls, reliability, resale value and safety. In compiling our fourth annual list of "Automotive Turkeys," we looked at four factors, all pertaining to 2007 model-year vehicles: number of recalls to date, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database; reliability ratings from Consumer Reports; depreciation, in the form of Automotive Leasing Guide's (ALG) star ratings; and safety, from NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-test ratings. Besides a standout number of recalls, we looked specifically for below-average reliability, high depreciation and NHTSA ratings below four stars and/or IIHS results of "Marginal" or "Poor." Of the vehicles that met at least two of these qualifications, we also looked subjectively at other factors, such as fuel efficiency and cost. Topping the list: The Chrysler Sebring , Dodge Nitro , Jeep Liberty , Dodge Caliber and Dodge Magnum .
  • This photo, supplied by the Aiken County,S.C., County Sheriff's Office, shows a fake $1 million bill, which a man tried to use to open an account in a Aiken, S.C, bank Monday, Nov. 26, 2007. Alexander D. Smith, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery after he walked into the bank and tried to open an account by depositing thefake $1 million bill, said an Aiken County Sheriff's spokesman.
  •   Girl to have arm taken off back November 21, 2007 A GIRL in China is scheduled to undergo a lengthy four-stage operation to remove a "spare" arm growing from her back. Ren Xin, 11, will have the extra limb removed by surgeons in Beijing next week. Chinese media has reportedly quoted doctors as saying that there had been less than 20 cases of similar conditions reported around the nation.
  • Tattoos, melons and sex workers should be avoided by Australian athletes competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for health reasons, team doctors were quoted as saying Tuesday.
  • The first major breakthrough in automatic weapons operating systems design in more than 120 years! The KRISS Super V™ The KRISS system overcomes the shock-creating effects of the recoil gas by re-directing the gas’s energy down and away from the traditional “straightline” design that creates so much felt-recoil and muzzle climb. The KRISS System, in addition to “re-vectoring” the forces of the recoil, also reduces muzzle climb by activating a counter-balancing mass that further absorbs shock and re-directs forces that would otherwise create muzzle climb, thus compounding the operator’s ability to consistently put rounds on-target whether through single-fire, multi-round burst or full automatic firing. Due to the fewer and lighter weight components, the KRISS is able to fire at extremely high rates of fire (1100-1500 should the application so warrant), however, the ROF can be easily adjusted to more common rates (650-700) through minor adjustments to the mechanism.
  • 300-mpg, Electric Aptera Typ-1 Ready for 2008 Production The Aptera Typ-1 might look like something straight out of George Jetson's garage, but it’s a real car. And it’s a real look at our possible future when it comes to emissions-free transportation. We recently sat down with Aptera CEO Steve Fambro to get a better idea of this all-electric three-wheeler’s production realities. According to Fambro, the two-speed Typ-1 will weigh in at less than 1500 pounds (even with solar panels and LEDs inside) and go 120 miles on a single 110-volt charge—and it’s coming to market next year (you can make your reservation now). Fambro, an engineer by trade, initially found his inspiration for Aptera in the sleek 2003 Volkswagen 1-liter concept car, a vehicle that VW claimed could deliver 235 mpg. “I was amazed at how the car could get such great range from aerodynamics and low weight,” he says. “For our car, we studied every angle to create the lowest-drag vehicle possible while keeping passengers in a traditional side-by-side configuration.” The Typ-1 only takes a few hours to fully charge the 10-kilowatt lithium-ion battery packs, which aren’t made up of individual cells as in, say, the Tesla Roadster. The exact chemistry for the Aptera packs are (predictably) not for public consumption, but we do know that the batteries make up about a quarter of the cost to build this car.
  • Doctors untangle the strange case …………………of the giant hairball   (CNN) -- It may not be the most appetizing reading before a hearty holiday meal, but the New England Journal of Medicine is devoting part of its Thanksgiving issue to a giant hairball -- and not the feline kind.  Doctors say this hairball removed from a woman's stomach weighed 10 pounds. The prestigious journal details the case of a previously healthy 18-year-old woman who consulted a team of gastrointestinal specialists. She complained of a five-month history of pain and swelling in her abdomen, vomiting after eating and a 40-pound weight loss. After a scan of the woman's abdomen showed a large mass, doctors lowered a scope through her esophagus. It revealed "a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach," wrote Drs. Ronald M. Levy and Srinadh Komanduri, gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. For the uninitiated, a bezoar is a hairball. "On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years -- a condition called trichophagia," they wrote. "It seemed like she'd been doing this for several years," Levy told CNN. The woman underwent surgery to remove the mass of black, curly hair, which weighed 10 pounds and measured 15 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches, the doctors said.
  •   Road kill for Christmas? Tuesday, November 27, 2007 Give your loved one a road kill toy for Christmas.   First came the toys which turned venereal diseases and parasites into the cutest of soft toys, now prepare for road kill toys. A toy designer has come up with a gory end for teddy bears and other cuddly animal toys. The first to be launched is Twitch, the Roadkill Teddy, which comes complete with opaque plastic body bag to keep the maggots out and attached to its twitching toe is an identity bag giving details of its demise. According to its tag it was run over by a milk float last Thursday, near the Hangar Lane Giratory system in London. The toy's innards and blood can be stuffed in and out of his body. A zip on each side contains the blood and guts. Its eyes are goggling, tongue is lolling around and a tire print runs across its back. The toys' creators, Compost Communications, have styled themselves 'toy terrorists' and according to their website: 'We squash and burn and bludgeon and maim. But we're also toy fanatics like you. We love toys.' Toy creator Adam Arber, 33, from London, said: 'I got the idea from looking at my mother-in-law's dog which is quite ugly and I thought it would make a great toy. A friend of mine had taken some pictures of road kill and the two things gelled into one idea.' Mr Arber, who works in advertising and who has been creating the toys in his spare time, said: 'I asked my mother-in-law and wife what they thought. I thought they might be upset but they just laughed.' He said he thought the toys, which cost £25, would appeal to people with a sense of humour and 'probably not anyone easily upset'. He said coming soon were other characters including Grind the rabbit, Splodge the hedgehog and Pop the weasel and likely gruesome scenarios would include death by being run over by kebab vans and golf buggies. The toys go on sale this weekend at Play Lounge in London and from mid-December on roadkilltoys.com .
  • Aerion Supersonic Business Jet is the first supersonic jet that can be purchased for private use. For more information please visit Aerion Corp.       The jet crosses the Atlantic Ocean in only 2 hours   .............  
  • Flying-car enthusiasts may have to wait a little longer to purchase a production vehicle capable of vertical takeoff and landing. Moller International, maker of the M400 Skycar and M200G saucer, this week reported that company debt rose to $40.6 million after a loss of more than $80,000 during the last quarter. A prototype of the M400 with a $3.5 million price tag was included in this year’s Neiman Marcus holiday catalogue, but production versions do not currently exist. PM reported on the Skycar in 1991 after inventor and University of California professor Paul Moller demonstrated a saucer-shaped vehicle capable of vertical takeoff and landing. His next project was the creation of a “practical transportation vehicle of the air,” PM reported in its January issue. “A custom-designed Wankel rotary engine is one reason why Moller may succeed where others have not. It provides the power-to-weight ration vertical takeoff demands, yet is inexpensive to produce,” PM wrote. Design specifications included a four-person cabin, top speed of 420 mph and eight 1.3 liter, 150-hp engines. Moller estimated production of several thousand Skycars a year would begin by 1995.
  • Office workers best bra none November 24, 2007 12:00am A SAUCY lingerie compary asked its female office staff to turn up in their undies for a day - and almost all of them actually did. Taiwan's Audrey Underwear decided to celebrate record sales by naming November 21 Camisole Day. All 500 female workers were encouraged to wear smalls - and a stunning 90 per cent did. "We have been waiting for this day all month. Today, we are super high, and don't know where to put our eyes," salesman Cai Mingda said. Mother-of-two Zhang Yufeng, 32, admitted: "I have been on a strict diet to get ready for the day. When I was trying on my outfit at home, my husband told me I should dress like this every day." Daily Telrgraph
  • Spray-On Snug Fit Condom For All Sizes by Body Beauty, November 24, 2007 Ever in the middle of an intimate rendezvous and wish you didn’t have to fumble with the noisy hard to open packaging condoms come wrapped in? Well how about getting rid of the packaging all together and just spraying on a condom ? That’s right, a spray-on condom! A German inventor, Jan Vinzenz Krause, has invented a spray-on condom that allows men of all sizes to have safe sex. The spray-on condom prototype measures a man’s size (really big, big, average, small, really small) and then covers his penis in liquid latex providing him with a proper fitting condom. With this innovation men would no longer have to feel discriminated against by condom companies who tend to only sale condoms for the average sized Joe. How does the spray-on condom work exactly? A man places his penis in a chamber. He then presses a button and a pump squirts out liquid latex through some nozzles onto the man’s penis in about 20 seconds. If 20 seconds seems like a long time to wait the good news is that the inventor is working on shortening the time to about 10 seconds. How does the condom come off? The rubber dries on quickly after it is sprayed on and is then ready to use. When no longer in use the spray-on condom can be easily rolled off and thrown away just like a regular condom.
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