Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don’t Blame Mexico

Criticism that the Mexican government didn’t act quickly enough fails to take into account the real-life complexity of responding to a public health emergency.

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The Smile Behind the Mask

Despite reports that the swine flu scare has turned Mexico City into a ghost town, daily life has resumed, even without antibacterial gel and Tamiflu.

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An Affordable Salvation

Gradually implementing an emissions-limitation program now might actually help the economy recover from its current slump.

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First Flu Death Provides Clues to Mexico Toll

Epidemiologists agree that prompt medical attention is crucial to treating swine flu, and that has been where Mexico lags far behind.

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Risk Unclear, Some Fliers Grow Skittish Over Travel

The vice president’s comments about germy airliner air were no comfort to the travel industry as bookings to Mexico fell “close to zero.”

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Final LHC magnet goes underground

Geneva, 30 April 2009— The 53rd and final replacement magnet for CERN*'s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was lowered into the accelerator's tunnel today, marking the end of repair work above ground following the incident in September last year that brought LHC operations to a halt. Underground, the magnets are being interconnected, and new systems ..

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The Geomagnetic Apocalypse — And How to Stop It

For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that’s exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.

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Freeman Dyson and the irresistible urge to be contrary about

Eminent physicist Freeman Dyson raised eyebrows a month ago when he told the New York Times Magazine that a little extra carbon dioxide—and global warming—might turn out to be good for the planet. So when we saw his name on an event around the corner from Scientific American's offices we figured we'd go hear his criticisms, dubbed "Climate Disast..

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New research pinpoints origins of humans in Africa: Scientif

A massive new genetic study proposes that humans originated near the border of modern-day South Africa and Namibia, a far more specific understanding than the vaguer picture of African origin that previously reigned.

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The President On His 100th Day

Yesterday on President Obama's 100th day in office, he reflected on the progress made and the change we have yet to make.

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Retractions in Guerrero

Here in Guerrero the Government official that told Congress there was one death, denied that later in a press conference outside of Congress.

At the very least the Government needs a competent press corps.

Agri-biz at root of swine flu?

Evidence points to industrial pig farm as source of outbreak, Bernice Wuethrich tried to warn us

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More at The Real News

Can I Buy a Chrysler on Sale?

There must be cheap ones right now!

A Primer on a Chrysler Bankruptcy

How the first bankruptcy for a major automaker since Studebaker in 1933 is likely to play out.

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Do hundreds of black holes dot the Milky Way?: Scientific Am

Black holes are thought to be common in the universe, with a supermassive gobbler lurking at the core of galaxies such as our own Milky Way. But might they also be found roaming outside the galactic centers?

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Chrysler Bankrupt

I guess the Chrysler  big honchos didn't want to obey that skinny black guy in the White House.

I have no idea how a Chrysler bankruptcy looks like.

Do I have to return my old Chrysler?

This is a new world.

Chrysler’s Fate Seems Certain; Obama to Speak at Noon

With a bankruptcy filing by Chrysler appearing all but certain, President Obama will address the fate of the automaker at noon.

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The Future of Knowledge

Recently I read that universities as we know them are in their way out. Today with Amy Goodman in Democracy Now; Brewster Kahle warned us about monopoly power on the side of Google.

This is an important moment for human development. Our biological success is mainly based on our knowledge abilities.

I feel we are close to a breakthrough. Wolfram Alpha (below) will play a part.

As always the dangers are unprecedent, humans love to live in challenging times. 

Bring it on!

This is a high stakes fight: Utopia or Oblivion, said that great American thinker; Buckminster Fuller. 

Stephen Wolfram Alpha

I have followed this scientist since he wrote an important paper in Reviews of Modern Physics: Statistical Mechanics of Cellular Automata.

Then he solved the Navier-Stokes equation in two dimensions, and I thought he was in his way of producing physicist unemployment by solving every problem out there in Physics.

Fortunately for us he chose to fight Google.

Now he claims he has a better search engine.

Well done.

Will Time tell what Wolfram did?

Could Wolfram Alpha take that question?

Mexico Limits Public Services as Flu Alerts Are Increased

Mexicans braced for a national shutdown of offices, restaurants and schools as the swine flu appeared in new locations as far apart as Peru and Switzerland on Thursday.

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Web tool 'as important as Google'

A web tool that "could be as important as Google", according to some experts, has been shown off to the public.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Amtrak Connection

The importance of Arlen Specter’s defection, with his unparalleled instinct for self-preservation, is that he became a Democrat because Pennsylvania likes the Democratic agenda better.

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Of Loos and Language

It’s strange that President Obama, who is far more eloquent than his predecessor, can communicate so well in a world whose lingua franca has become bad English.

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Here There is a Thought

I am reading the NYT piece on Obama's response to the Chrysler honchos. Take it or leave it.

I put myself in the place of those prior "owners" of one of the biggest successes of this country. The Automakers Giants.

I would think that I don't know this skinny black boy, why should I have to obey him?

Maybe they have to.

Nice thought, isn't it?

We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter

Republicans have failed to undertake a re-evaluation of the inclusiveness as a party that could have forestalled losing the party’s moderates.

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Chrysler Bankruptcy Looms as Deal on Debt Falters

Barring an agreement that looked increasingly difficult, Chrysler was expected to seek Chapter 11 protection on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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NPR:Specter's Exit Punctuates Grim 100 Days For GOP

The 100th day of the Obama presidency is also a milestone for the Republican Party. It marks 100 days in an unfamiliar exile — controlling neither the House nor the Senate nor the executive branch. And on Day 99, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced he's switching sides.

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Capitalism and the flu

The Mexican swine flu, probably conceived in the fecal mire of an industrial pigsty, is suddenly threatening to give the whole world a fever.

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Swine Flu is an Old Friend

Since its identification at the beginning of the Depression, H1N1 swine flu had only drifted slightly from its original genome. Then, in 1998, all hell broke loose.

Mexico to shut government in flu fight

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's government is temporarily suspending all nonessential activity of the federal government and private business as the number of confirmed swine flu cases jumped.

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Perfect Storm?

I do not want to sound as a millenarian 2012 freak.

Objectively I see three threatening developments.

  1. Climate Change
  2. Financial Collapse
  3. Pandemics
It is within reason that in a month from now the Mexican border will be closed, fires will rage rampant in Chilpancingo, and that the Mexican Government declares itself insolvent.

I hope not.


In France, the health minister took the extraordinary step of calling for a suspension of all flights from theEuropean Union to Mexico.

I have a nice young niece in France.

Earliest case of swine flu tucked away in Mexico, officials

Tucked away in this small mountain village, off a dusty road flanked by pig farms, is where the earliest case of swine flu -- a virus spreading globally -- was confirmed.

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10 Countries Ban Pork Imports Over Swine Flu Fears

With fears deepening Wednesday over the outbreak of swine flu around the world, at least 10 countries — from China to Russia to Ukraine to Ecuador — have established bans on the importing of all pork products, despite a declaration from the World Health Organization that the virus cannot be transmitted by eating pork.

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As Flu Hits, Local Health Agencies Are Depleted by Slump

The recession has drained resources from the state and local health departments that now are the front line against a possible swine flu pandemic.

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WHO raises pandemic alert level; more swine flu cases feared

The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert level Monday in response to the outbreak of swine flu that originated in Mexico, as the global count of confirmed cases increased and governments initiated various steps to try to stem the spread.

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Fuck the Titanic

This is an addition to my links list, there to your right.

I enjoyed the first review.

Keep it up FTT team!

Stanton Peale

Dear Eduardo: 
Thank you! 
Stan Peale 
On Wed, 29 Apr 2009, Eduardo Cantoral wrote: 
> Dear Prof. Peale: 

> I found out today that you were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. 

> Congratulations! 

> Eduardo 


Cases of swine flu H1N1 are now reported in Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Thailand, Israel, etc. Can’t keep up at this point.

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The NAFTA Flu: Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

As the U.S. reports its first known death from the global swine flu, the World Health Organization has raised its pandemic threat level. Several countries around the world have banned the import of US and Mexican pork products. We speak to professor and author Robert Wallace, who says the swine flu is partly the outcome of neo-liberal policies ..

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First swine flu death in U.S. reported

A child in Texas has become the first fatality from swine flu in the United States, the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. "I can confirm the very sad news out of Texas that a child has died of the H1N1 virus," the CDC's Dr. Richard Besser said.

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U.S. bank report, flu fears shake economy hopes

By Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anxiety over a global flu crisis and the health of some U.S. banks rattled hopes on Tuesday that the financial system was stabilizing, but U.S. and other data suggested confidence was returning to...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vice’s Secret Vices

Dick Cheney, our former vice president, continues his 24/7 tour justifying the enhanced interrogation techniques of high value detainees.

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A Torturous Compromise

Though president’s decision to expose but not prosecute those responsible for torture is surely unsatisfying, but it is the best solution for right now.

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From Édgar, 5, Coughs Heard Round the World

The Mexican government has identified a young boy as the first person in the country infected with swine flu, but officials have been slow to stem its spread. Specter.text.void

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WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

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How Fidel Snookered Everyone

The summit exposed Castro's peers in Latin America, not Obama, as the real innocents abroad.

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Oldest GRB

The discovery also proves massive stars capable of exploding as GRBs existed when the universe was only 630 million years old. This is not a surprise; cosmologists think the very first stars formed when the universe was between 200 and 400 million years old — that is, between redshifts 12 and 20.

Taken from Sky and Telescope (below)

Paul Krugman: The Specter of Republican marginalization

Arlen Specter’s party switch isn’t all that startling. Richard Shelby and Ben Nighthorse Campbell switched to the Republicans right after the 1994 election, without (as far as I know) facing the same kind of primary challenge. But this switch is especially important, because once Al Franken finally gets seated it will give the Democrats

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Global Warming Forces Alaska Town to Relocate

The 340 residents of Newtok, Alaska, will soon be among the first “climate refugees” in the United States. Global warming has battered the tiny coastal town: As average yearly temperatures rise, coastal ice shelves melt, as does the permafrost on which the town sits.

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The Farthest Thing Ever Seen

A faint gamma-ray burst captured last Thursday by NASA’s Swift satellite has smashed the record for the earliest, most distant known object in the universe.

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Swine Flu Coverage: Panic or Proper?

NEW YORK The growing swine flu scare is a Page One story in nearly every U.S. newspaper today. Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" calls it "Snoutbreak 2009." But is the coverage overplaying the danger or providing proper levels of information?

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The Caucus: Specter To Switch Parties

Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican moderate from Pennsylvania, will be running in the 2010 primary race as a Democrat, according to a political associate.

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With Swine Flu Cases Rising, Borders Are Tightened

The number of deaths believed attributable to swine flu climbed to as many as 152 on Tuesday — all of them in Mexico — as some countries imposed new border controls.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Dot Earth: Obama’s Call to Create, Not Just Consume

Obama aims to stir a new era of "high risk, high reward" innovation.

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Obama's Science Plan

At my age, close to 60, one gets cautious. Sputnik sounds nice to somebody from my generation. Tom Friedman's idea on an ET (Energy Technology) revolution, rings like nice bells to my ears. Finally they need me.

Nevertheless I'll believe there is change, when I see new opporunities for me to help.

The New Swine Flu

While health officials scramble to keep up with the virus, it is disquieting that the Obama administration has few of its top health officials in place.

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Workers Walk the Plank

While Wall Street is breaking out the Champagne, the rest of the economy is beyond terrible, and will be for the foreseeable future.

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Invoking the Sputnik Era, Obama Vows Record Outlays for Rese

War is a bloated parasite, when the "peak" US forward looking momentum was ".. in 1964, at the peak of the space race and cold war, when such money was 3 percent of the gross domestic product". I applaud Obama for recognising this. How much US GDP has been blown on the ROI inefficient weapons industry? 3% of GDP is *small* if that is all it take

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Obama Acts to Ease Flu Fears; U.S. Says It Is Prepared

The Obama administration dispatched high-level officials from several agencies to demonstrate that it was fully prepared to confront the outbreak.

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End the University as We Know It

If higher education is to thrive, colleges and universities, like Wall Street and Detroit, must be rigorously regulated and completely restructured.

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Public Health

In an AP note on the NYT one can read:

"In the town of Xonacatlan, just west of Mexico City, Antonia Cortes Borbolla told The Associated Press that nobody has given her medicine in the week since her husband succumbed to raging fever and weakened lungs that a lab has confirmed as swine flu."

Associated Press writers Olga Rodriguez in Xonacatlan and Peter Orsi and Lisa J. Adams in Mexico City contributed to this report.

This is the basic problem of my country. Poor people from the countryside, Xonacatlan, are not people for the Mexican Government, nor to many Mexicans.

This cannot go on.

All Mexicans can host viruses that can kill the rest of Mexicans, like President Calderón, say.

Public Health, is the only effective health policy that makes sense in these hard times.

Mexico Faces Criticism Over Swine Flu Response

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Two weeks after the first known swine flu death, Mexico still hasn't given medicine to the families of the dead. It hasn't determined where the outbreak began or how it spread. And while the government urges anyone who feels sick to go to hospitals, feverish people complain ambulance workers are scared to pick them up.

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Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported.

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Texas closing school indefinitely 3rd student w/swine flu

Texas state health authorities on Saturday ordered a high school near San Antonio closed indefinitely after a third student showed symptoms of swine flu, which has killed dozens of people in Mexico. ''A third student is listed as...

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WHO hikes pandemic alert to phase 4 on swine flu fears: Scie

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the influenza pandemic alert level to phase 4, just two steps shy of a global pandemic alert, according to Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security and environment. And while the WHO does not recommend countries close borders or restrict travel, they are moving forward ..

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Most suspected flu patients in Mexico now healthy

Two-thirds of the roughly 1,300 people in Mexico suspected of being infected with a fatal new strain of swine flu have been given a clean bill of health and sent home from the hospital, President Felipe Calderon said on Sunday.

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Follow the Swine Flu in Real Time With Google Maps

The current H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic headlines read like those flashing through the intro sequence of a post-apocalyptical movie. Now you can see the cases spreading in real time—as the WHO declares them—in Google Maps.

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Flu fears hit Mexican markets, but global reaction is muted

Mexico's stock market and U.S. airline shares are taking a pounding today on fears about the potential economic impact from the swine flu outbreak, but markets overall are staying mostly calm.

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5.6 Earthquake rattles an already shaken Mexico City: Scient

Mexico, which is already swept in panic over an outbreak of swine flu, the virus suspected of killing over 100 people and sickening more than 1,000 in the country, has now become the epicenter of another disaster: an earthquake.

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Clinton’s Mideast Pirouette

The sparring between the U.S. and Israel has begun, and that’s a good thing, with criticism coming from an unlikely source — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Money for Nothing

It’s necessary to rescue Wall Street to protect the economy, but financial firms should be acting like public utilities, not returning to the practices and paychecks of 2007.

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Dell Inspiron Mini IM12-2870 12.1-Inch Cherry Red Netbook

That said, the Mini 12 is definitely an interesting little experiment from Dell—a mutant mashup of netbook and notebook that might hit some heretofore undiscovered sweet spot, or simply look verrry attractive to some given the current economic climate. Update: Full press release below—apparently it’s a Twitter machine too

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Swine Flu in Mexico Linked to Poorly Managed Factory Farms

Investigations now reveal that the swine flu epidemic that began in Mexico and spread worldwide is probably connected to pollution caused by unsanitary pig breeding farms in the region.

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Europe Urges Citizens to Avoid U.S. and Mexico Travel

The European Union health commissioner advised Europeans to postpone travel to the U.S. or Mexico, but the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the advisory unwarranted.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fatal new flu strain threatens Mexico, U.S.

Mexican and U.S. health officials searched on Saturday for signs an outbreak of a new flu strain is spreading further, after it killed up to 68 people in Mexico and infected eight in the United States. As...

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Fighting Deadly Flu, Mexico Cancels More Events

Mexican officials, scrambling to control a swine flu outbreak that has killed as many as 68 people and infected possibly 1,000 more, canceled more events.

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A Family Divided by 2 Words, Legal and Illegal

A Queens family is struggling with the limited opportunities that illegal immigrants face and the burdens and possibilities of a son’s American citizenship.

read more | digg story -Mexico's America Movil 1Q Net Seen Rising On Sales,

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--America Movil SAB (AMX), Latin America's largest mobile operator, is expected to report a 2.6% rise in first-quarter net profit thanks to strong sales and lower handset subsidies as subscriber growth cools.

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Germán Martínez Hidalgo

My friend Germán Martínez passed away today.

I spent over ten years of my life in Puebla. I met good friends there. Some are dead, Luis Rivera Terrazas, Mario Albarrán, Jesús García Fernández, Alejandro Reyes Cristiani, Jesús Reyes Corona, and Rodolfo Reyes Sánchez "El Champion".

I hereby promise the world that I'll keep the flame of rationality alive.

We will remember all of them.

First taste: Sugar on a Stick learning platform

Sugar Labs has announced the first beta release of Sugar on a Stick, a self-contained Sugar environment that is distributed as a live USB image. It can boot on conventional desktop computers from a 1GB thumb drive.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Come Visit. Live Life. Eat Cheese.

It’s hard to go wrong when picking a state flower, but the number of bad slogan-driven tourism campaigns is legion.

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A Culture Soaked in Blood

America is an insanely violent society, and the worst of that violence is made insanely easy by the widespread availability of guns.

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A Rolling Stone, Still

Bob Dylan reinvents himself (again) on album No. 33. Some fans will love it. Us%E2%80%94we're still not sure.

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Will Swine Flu Panic Spread Beyond Mexico? - TIME

The government swings into crisis mode to prevent a pandemic. How quickly is the virus spreading?

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Loyal Opposition?

Republicans could filibuster Obama's health plan. I guess that is politics, I shouldn't feel overly concerned about this.

Somehow I feel though, that the Republicans do not represent a rational approach to health care. Their opinions are not the best. They are not going to improve the health care solutions the American people need.

With a flu epidemic in Mexico City this is no time for ideologue Republicans to do any "rational" modification to Obama's health bill. I feel like the Republicans felt the need to torture Al Qaeda heads to avoid American deaths. They should understand that a wrong move in health care policies could kill more people than Al Qaeda could ever do. We are talking about pandemics that could, and in the past have killed thousands of people in the US and millions all over the World.

I hope the Obama Administration finds the way to stop these American loonies in the Senate.

Democrats’ Budget Deal Sets Up Fight on Health Plan

The plan seems certain to include a procedural maneuver meant to avoid filibusters on health care reform, and likely to anger Republicans.

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Mexican Prosecutors Train in U.S. for a Legal Shift

In what experts say is nothing short of a revolution, Mexico is starting to abandon its centuries-old Napoleonic system of closed-door, written inquisitions.

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Experts Debate Pandemic Potential of Swine Flu

A top federal health official said the government's concern over the swine flu outbreaks in the United States and Mexico has grown since Thursday -- and a handful of influenza experts worry the deadly, never-before-seen hybrid strain may spur a pandemic.

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Mexico Shuts Schools Amid Deadly Flu Outbreak

Scrambling to contain an outbreak of swine flu that has killed at least 16 in recent weeks, authorities are shuttering schools for millions.

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The angular size of the Lyα nebula is ≥ 17 proper kpc
(§3.2), which is comparable to the diameter of the stellar
disk of the present-day Milky Way. It is impressive, if we
consider that the age of the Universe at z = 6.595 is only
6% of the one of the present-day Universe. Moreover,
such an extended Lyα source is very rare in the cosmological
volume only with the number density of 1.2×10−6
comoving Mpc−3 at z = 6.6 (§2.2). If our selection of
large Lyα nebula does not miss a significant fraction of
massive galaxies at this early epoch (z = 6.6), our object
could be an ancestor of a bright-cluster or cD galaxy, and
should be a good laboratory of massive-galaxy formation
near the reionization epoch.

Mysterious, massive heavenly body named 'Himiko' by scientis

A team of researchers from Japan, Britain and the United States have observed for the first time a mysterious, gigantic heavenly body that existed in the early universe 12.9 billion years ago, using equipment including Japan's Subaru telescope in Hawaii.

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Glossary (Pasachoff and Filippenko: The Cosmos)

Chapter 1
constellation One of 88 areas into which the sky has been divided for convenience in referring to the stars or other objects therein.

hypothesis The first step in the traditional formulation of the scientific method; a tentative explanation of a set of facts that is to be tested experimentally or observationally.

light-year The distance that light travels in a year.

scientific method No easy definition is possible, but it has to do with a way of testing and verifying hypotheses.

spectrum (spectra) A display of electromagnetic radiation spread out by wavelength or frequency.

theory A later stage of the traditional form of the scientific method, in which a hypothesis has passed enough of its tests that it is generally accepted.

Filippenko's Book The Cosmos

Section 1.1: Peering through the Universe: A Time Machine

This is an enormously exciting time to study astronomy. Telescopes and the instruments on them are better than ever, providing new clues to a wide variety of phenomena and deepening our understanding of the cosmos.

The Universe is about 14 billion years old. Compared with a 24-hour day scaled to match the age of the Universe, the Earth formed about 8 hours ago, and humans appeared only 2 seconds ago.

Scientists often use a version of the metric system, in which prefixes like “kilo-” for one thousand and “mega-” for one million go with units like meter for distance and second for time, or are found in kilogram for mass. Astronomers also use special units, like the light-year for the distance light travels in one year. By viewing objects that are at different distances from Earth, we look back to different times in the past, because light travels at a finite speed. Thus, the observation of very distant objects we see today provides a glimpse of the Universe as it was a long, long time ago.

Section 1.2: How Do We Study Things We Can't Touch?

Astronomers gain most of their information about the Universe by studying radiation from objects. In addition to taking photographs, we can break down an object’s light into its component colors to make a spectrum, like a rainbow. We study not only the visible part of the spectrum, but also its gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, and radio waves.

Section 1.3: Finding Constellations in the Sky

The sky is divided into 88 regions known as constellations. The individual stars in a given constellation are generally at quite different distances from Earth and are not physically associated with each other; they are simply apparent groupings of stars. As the Earth rotates about its axis and revolves around the Sun, different constellations appear in the night sky. It can be fun to look at the sky and know some of the constellations, as well as their related mythology (Sec. 1.3a–d).

Section 1.4: How Do You Take a Tape Measure to the Stars?

Some of the most exciting studies in modern astronomy are related to the determination of distances. We can measure how far away the Moon or a planet is by bouncing radio waves off it and measuring the total amount of time the waves were in flight. It is much more difficult to measure the distances of stars, galaxies, and other objects beyond our Solar System, but later in this book we explain the methods used by astronomers.

Section 1.5: The Value of Astronomy

The study of astronomy has had a major impact on the development of science throughout human history. For example, observations of the changing positions of the Moon and the planets led to an understanding of gravity and the laws governing the motions of bodies. Moreover, astronomy allows us to investigate human origins, including the creation of the chemical elements and the formation of the Sun and Earth. The Universe is a cosmic laboratory to test ideas of science in conditions often not available in laboratories on Earth. Observations of the skies may even help humans avoid or delay extinction, if we are able to discover (and subsequently deflect) large asteroids or comets that are on a collision course with Earth.

Section 1.6: What Is Science?

One of the main principles of science is that results should be reproducible; other scientists should be able to get essentially the same result by repeating the same experiment or observation. Astronomers and other scientists follow the scientific method, which is difficult to define but provides a standard about which scientists agree. In the basic form of the scientific method, a hypothesis passes observational tests to become a theory.

Section 1.7: Why Is Science Far Better Than Pseudoscience?

Many people have beliefs that may seem related to science but either have no present verification or are false; they are based on pseudoscience rather than on authentic science. Astrology (as opposed to astronomy), for example, passes no scientific tests and so is not a science. Furthermore, astrology has been shown not to work.

© 2007 Thomson Learning

Himiko Blob Baffles Astronomers

WFT is this super massive blog in outerspace scientists are stuggling to understand? Its not a galaxy, or a gas pile...WTF is it?

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Health experts hunt new swine flu after 7 sickened

Federal health experts expect to find more cases of a unique new form of swine flu as they check people who had contact with seven California and Texas residents diagnosed with the illness.

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Fidel Castro is not Happy with Obama

Obama has the right of a honeymoon. Neither Vicente Fox in Mexico, nor Fidel Castro in Cuba, can wait forever for Mr. Obama to control the loonies in Washington.

As Paul Krugman put it very well today in the NYT.

"But the answer to that is, what political consensus? There are still, alas, a significant number of people in our political life who stand on the side of the torturers. But these are the same people who have been relentless in their efforts to block President Obama’s attempt to deal with our economic crisis and will be equally relentless in their opposition when he endeavors to deal with health care and climate change. The president cannot lose their good will, because they never offered any."

Well said Paul. The time is now. Please President Obama, it is time to act, the problems will only get worse if you wait.

The Summit and the lie: Fidel Castro

SOME of the things that Daniel (Ortega, president of Nicaragua) told me would be hard to believe if it was not him who told me them and it was not at a Summit of the Americas where they occurred.

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Blobs in Space

From AOL

Influenza and Fires

These are signlas of Gaia, the Earth, in distress. Read below.

Mexico shuts schools in capital in flu scar

By Noel Randewich and Armando Tovar MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is canceling classes for millions of children in the heart of the country on Friday after influenza killed around 20 people in recent weeks. Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel...

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reclaiming America’s Soul

The only way for the nation to regain its moral compass is to investigate how the government’s interrogation abuses happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.

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Wildfires Hit Myrtle Beach Area

Wildfires swept through a coastal region of South Carolina on Thursday and threatened North Myrtle Beach, destroying about 70 homes and forcing more than 2,500 people to evacuate, state officials said.

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Fires Fuel for Climate Change: Scientific American

The wildfires blazing through North Myrtle Beach, S.C., today are hardly an anomaly in a warming world. According to a landmark report that will be published tomorrow in Science, fires are not just a result of a changing climate, they're also contributing to the overall warming trend much more than imagined, the authors report. As vegetation burns,

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On Climate Issue, Industry Ignored Its Scientists

A document shows that a fossil fuels industry group ran an aggressive campaign against an idea its own scientists called irrefutable: a link between heat-trapping gases and climate change.

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'Fraction cells' found in human brain

Fractipons may be written as the ratio of two whole numbers, but that's not how our brains process them. Instead it seems we respond to fractions directly, without processing whole numbers along the way. This suggests that kids, who often dread fractions, could be taught them more intuitively.

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No Time for Retribution

The right balance between retribution and reconciliation is always hard to find in the aftermath of national trauma, like the revelations of torture. But it’s time for America to move forward.

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Forgive and Forget eliot spitzer? NO WAY

There is nothing he can do to be forgiven. he's a lying snake.....he exposed his wife to diseases.....he showed total disrespect to the voters....who gives a flying fig if he carried a briefcase to grade school? No elected official can have this lack of moral fiber..............he's like bill clinton, no gene for SHAME

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swimming Without a Suit

America needs to invest money and energy into schools with a sense of urgency that the economic and moral stakes demand.

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To Tweet or Not to Tweet

In an interview with the inventors of Twitter, a simple quest to find out if they are as annoying as their invention.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sun at its dimmest for nearly a century, say scientists

A lack of sunspots and solar flares has made the Sun its dimmest for nearly a century, claim scientists.

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U.S. Overtures Find Support Among Cuban-Americans

Recent changes in attitude in the Cuban-American community suggests that President Obama has become a catalyst for openness with the Communist island.

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Richie Havens Concert to Mark Woodstock Anniversary

DETROIT (Billboard) - Richie Havens is going back to the garden -- again.The veteran singer-songwriter, who was the first act on stage at the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, will perform at noon on August 14 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the original festival site in Bethel, N.Y.

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A look at economic developments around the globe -

Mexico and Brazil stocks go down on account of oil prize.

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Commentary: Obama treating Mexico as an equal

President Obama doesn't speak Spanish. But after his trip Thursday to Mexico City to meet with President Felipe Calderon, it's clear that the two leaders speak the same language.

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I thought IBM/Sun was bad. Now I feel that the announced deal is better.

Open source cannot exist in a vacuum. Oracle and Sun are its best allies.

I have friends working at Sun. I wish them well.

NYT Calls For Impeachment Of Torture Man, now Federal Judge

The dishonorable Jay Bybee, the waterboarding judge. Get him out of our courts.

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Editorial - The Torturers’ Manifesto -

The Obama team must investigate the lawyers who wrote the memos on prisoner interrogation, which were written not to set legal limits, but to provide legal immunity for illegal and immoral acts.

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Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems

The $7.4 billion deal, reached after I.B.M. ended talks with Sun, would shake up the technology industry.

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Chávez's Literary Gift to Obama Becomes Bestseller Overnight

A 36-year-old historical tract attacking the imperialist exploitation of Latin America has become an improbable overnight bestseller after the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez abruptly presented a copy to Barack Obama.

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Hawking's Web Site

He is getting better.

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Oracle buys Sun. Is MySQL doomed? Java? -Linux?

With Sun it tow, Oracle will now finally have its own operating system with Solaris, instead of just its Oracle Enterprise Linuxon Red Hat).Perhaps more importantly with one swift stroke Oracle has effectively cornered even more of the database market than it already owned.

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Use Energy, Get Rich and Save the Planet

The richer everyone gets, the greener the planet will be in the long run.

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Freedom inside the Internet

Fidel Castro does not have to ask permission to write hist truth in the Internet any more than I have to.

We are free to write. We will face the consequences.


Fidel Castro former Head of State in Cuba is now a journalist. I have been following his journalist notes in this site.

Today I m listening to Amy Goodman in Democracy Now!, interviewing laid off journalists that had spoken truth to power.

James Lovelock tells us to forget trying to save the Earth and start thinking in saving ourselves!

I believe him.

This combination of unemployed intellectuals and end of the world is explosive.

I invite all of you to look up for these signals, they are going to appear more and more clearly all over the place.

The Secret Summit. Fidel Castro

WHILE neither represented at nor excommunicated from the Port of Spain Summit we were able to find out what has been discussed there up until today. We were led to fully expect that the meeting would not be private, but the stage managers deprived us of that highly interesting intellectual exercise. We would be informed of the essence, but not ..

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Stephen Hawking hospitalized, reported very ill

Famed mathematician Stephen Hawking, has been rushed to a hospital and is seriously ill, Cambridge University said Monday.The university said Hawking has been fighting a chest infection for several weeks, and was being treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, the university city north of London."Professor Hawking is very ill," said Grego

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Children in Peril

In a toxic mix for children, poverty and family homelessness are rising, the quality of public education is deteriorating and legions of people are losing access to health care.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Erin Go Broke

The slogan “Erin go bragh,” used as a declaration of Irish identity, could also be read as a prediction for the world economy.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Aura of Arugulance

On a visit to the Bay Area, I found clarity from two visionaries who inspire cultlike devotion, one for her green cooking and the other for his mythical empire on blue screens.

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The Bigots’ Last Hurrah

An idiotic video ad advances only one message — that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead.

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US and Cuba in the way to settling old quarrels.

As Sweig said: ''This is longest Cuban news cycle since the missile crisis.''

Are we there now?

The above quote from the AP says it all. We entered a new era last Friday night, in this horrible time called the Cold War.

Rising Expectations on Cuba Follow Obama

A day after the president pledged a new future in relations with Cuba, Latin American leaders said the future is now.

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Obama Waiting to See Cuba's Next Moves

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) -- President Barack Obama says America's estranged relationship with Cuba will not change overnight. It just did -- at least in tone.

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A Slippery Place in the U.S. Work Force

Many immigrants from Latin America are learning how uncertain their foothold is in the work force.

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Foreign Ways and War Scars Test Hospital

Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis offers an extraordinary vantage point on the ways immigrants are testing the medical establishment.

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Texas Mayor Caught in Deportation Furor

Mayor Herbert A. Gears realized his own political future depended on how he navigated the treacherous terrain over immigration.

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A Google Whiz Searches for His Place on Earth

Google is based in Silicon Valley. But Sanjay G. Mavinkurve, one of the key engineers on a map project, is not. His wife doesn’t have a visa, so he lives in Canada.

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Distress Signals

I went to a chain grocery store near my place in the US and the lights were dimmed. This is the first time I see this here. I take it to mean that life changes are in the way for this part of the world.

Also bookstores and video rental places are getting out of the music and video business. I guess there are other chains taking care of this part of the consumer entertainment business.

Slowly but surely I expect the end of the American Way of Life. I am glad I come from the third world and I have another perspective on growth and happiness.

Struggling to Rise in Suburbs Where Failing Means Fitting In

One in four U.S. youths is an immigrant or a child of one, and a troubled minority of them offers cause for alarm.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Soldiers with correct opinions

It is not known how many people in the United States write to Obama and how many different topics are presented to him. It’s clear that he cannot read all the letters and deal with everything because he wouldn’t be able to fit it into a 24-hour day or a 365-day year. What is certain is that his advisors, backed up by their computers, electronic..

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CompUSA Comes Back From the Dead - Opens 30 New Stores

The once-bankrupt electronics retailer is making a comeback, with about 30 new CompUSA stores nationwide and a new strategy that includes aggressive prices, remodeled stores, improved lighting and in-store web access for comparison shopping.

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Harvard University Is Having A Financial Meltdown

The superstars at Harvard defied markets for years--until now. Here's the inside story of how they finally tripped up. You'll notice a familiar name: Larry Summers, then president of Harvard, now Obama's chief economic adviser.

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At Summit of the Americas, the Issue Is Cuba

The big question is whether Hugo Chávez and Barack Obama will clash over Cuba, whose leader, Raúl Castro, was not invited.

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No Cause for Arrest

In the settlement with youngsters prosecuted for a rampage that never happened, New York City agreed to pay damages, but not acknowledge the abuse of power by authorities.

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Next-Gen Atom Smashers: Smaller, Cheaper and Super Powerful

Size matters in particle physics: The bigger the machine, the more violently physicists can smash atoms together and break open the deepest mysteries of the subatomic world. But a revolutionary new technology could eventually render some gargantuan particle accelerators passé.

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IBM May No Longer Be Interested In Buying Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems appears to be down to its last option as far as a white knight is concerned, but the problem is, that knight has gotten on its horse and ridden away.

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Better late than never: Mexico hacks key interest rate

Better late than never: Mexico hacks key interest rate

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Economic Clouds over Mexico?

"The strong fall in aggregate demand in the United States and a contraction in global trade are having a very severe impact on economic activity in Mexico," the bank said in its monthly monetary policy statement.

Finally Calderón is facing facts. That is a good place to start.

"Fox Are the Hippies, CNN is The Man...What Does That Make M

The Daily Show summed up the Tax Day Tea Parties last night with an eight-minute segment on the protests — and the coverage. Jon Stewart brought up FBN's Cody Willard "dropping the f-bomb on Obama" and why "everything is now reversed" with Fox News.

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What's hot, green and Mexican?

Felipe Calderón wants to talk to Barack Obama about drugs—and windmills

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Green Shoots and Glimmers

With all the talk of signs of recovery, there are still real reasons to be cautious about the economic outlook.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bernie Sanders introduces a single-payer health care bill

Sanders' program would be paid for by taking the current sources of government health care spending, and combining them with modest new taxes that would be less than people now pay for insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses. Four hundred billion dollars would be saved annually.

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To Fight Violence, Obama Wants Arms Treaty Ratified

President Obama, who landed in Mexico on Thursday, will press the Senate to ratify an arms treaty to curb the flow of guns, an administration official said.

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Obama Builds Tech Bridge to Cuba

President Obama on Monday unveiled a plan that will allow U.S. residents to send cell phones, computers, satellite receivers, and more to friends and family in Cuba, and also allow U.S. telecom companies to do business in the country.

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When Nature Calls

The bizarre case of an air traveler who was refused use of a business-class lavatory on a Delta Air Lines flight offers a morality tale for our age.

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Gorging the Beast

President Obama seems to be trying to do too much at once, spending too much money without making the tough decisions about how to pay for it all.

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Brazil Stocks Fall on Diesel-Price Speculation; Mexico Drops

Brazilian stocks declined for a second day on concern that government efforts to lower diesel prices will reduce profit for the country’s energy producers.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In the Age of Pirates

This is increasingly an age of pirates, failed states, nonstate actors and nation-building — the stuff of snipers, drones and generals, not diplomats.

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Mexico: Bumpy Road to Prosperity

Mexico is in much better shape to face the global turbulence than it was in past decades, but will continue to move forward too slowly.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

How to Turn your iPod Touch into an iPhone

All the software used in this tutorial to give your snazzy iPod Touch the functionality of the iPhone is totally free. So what are you waiting for?

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Obama plans push for amnesty for 12 Million Illegal Aliens

He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office.

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Measuring the Universe

A few days back I posted a question. What use is there for Cosmic Ray Astronomy?

The answer is: to measure the Universe in the tens of mega parsecs range.

Making Banking Boring

The regulated era of banking that followed the Great Depression was far less lucrative than previous era, but one of spectacular economic progress. Perhaps it’s time for the winds to shift again.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Marq de Villiers

One advantage of being in the US is that I get more reading material. I have in front of me, The End. I recommend this book in these times of uncertainty. It gives some perspective.

This is not the first time humanity has been in a difficult position.

I have to do the best of my life before my time ends.

Twitter revolution: 10,000 protesters organize in Moldova vi

While people in the U.S. were twiddling their thumbs, Twittering about plans to see Fast and Furious or run to the grocery store yesterday, thousands of Moldovan youth were busy using the social messaging network to assemble a massive rally in response to Sunday's election results and the country's bust economy.

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Education Week: Obama Echoes Bush on Education Ideas

Policies on education have not changed over the past four Presidents

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free Electrical and Electronics pdf, ebook download

Electrical, Electronics, circuit diagram, datasheet, ebook in pdf format

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Do I Have any Good ET Idea?

Tom Friedman, writes today in the NYT that Obama should call cap-and-trade, tax-and -trade and be done with it.

That way he responds to critics and sets policy, i.e., start working on Energy Technology, ET.

I have more to offer that economy, than the Information Technology, IT, we are leaving behind.

I better start thinking up some inventions.

Castro Wants President Obama to Succeed

I can't believe this. I'm listening to C-SPAN live statements of American House Representatives in their way back from Cuba!

Please Obama listen to Fidel Castro.

Enough non-sense. Cubans and Americans are brothers and sisters. Enough.

He Charted the Moon Before Galileo, But He is Not Known

Thomas Harriot produced remarkable drawings showing the locations of the moon's craters, and his cartography was not bettered for decades. So why does Galileo enjoy lasting fame while Harriot has been forgotten? Oxford professor Allan Chapman says "Harriot had no one to protect him, because his patrons were worried about having their head's chopped

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Joseph Stiglitz: Economic InEquality is increasing

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains what drove the US economy off a cliff and what steps need to be taken to rectify the situation during a Nation Institute panel discussion held to mark the release of a new book: "Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover"

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Mysterious Dark Matter Possibly Detected

When dark matter is destroyed, it leaves behind a burst of exotic particles, according to theory. Now scientists have found a possible signature of these remains.

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100 Hours of Astronomy Begins

Explanation: Today, 100 Hours of Astronomy begins, a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's original telescopic exploration of the sky. Running from April 2 through April 5, many different public programs are planned worldwide as part of the project, starting with today's opening event at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Featuring one of Galileo's two remaining telescopes, the event will be webcast live. Of course, the sky examined by Galileo can still be appreciated today, with much more capable instruments that are widely available. But this skyward view from a private observatory in Veszprem, Hungary also includes objects Galileo did not see when he gazed into the night. Recorded on March 26, the image captures the paired trails of the International Space Station (the brighter trail) and the shuttle orbiter Discovery in low Earth orbit, as well as the streak of a passing airplane.

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You're fired!

A letter from Michael Moore.

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New Close-up Shows Binary Stars in Orion's Heart

Astronomers have caught their sharpest look of a double star system in the Orion nebula.

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Monster quakes of centuries past reveal new details about fa

Predicting earthquakes might sound like a pretty forward-looking job. But some seismologists are digging up information about past earthquakes to better understand the hazards of today.

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How Linux killed SGI (and is poised to kill Sun)

There are some scarily depressing parallels between the once-dominant SGI and Sun Microsystems. The big question is what Sun will be worth in bankruptcy. Read this blog post by Dave Rosenberg on Software, Interrupted.

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New cosmic map reveals colossal structures

Enormous cosmic voids and giant concentrations of matter have been observed in a new galaxy survey, one of the biggest completed so far. One of the voids is so large that it is difficult to explain where it came from.

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Sun activity at lowest in a century

The sun is currently operating at the lowest level of activity in a century according to NASA.

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UK budget crunch knocks out Big Bang telescopes

A telescope capable of finding evidence for gravitational waves from the aftermath of the Big Bang is destined to remain in pieces across four UK universities, after the project was cancelled late last month. Astronomers say the cancellation reflects the dire budget circumstances of UK physics and astronomy.

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Newsweek Article Spills Unintentional Truth About Elites

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring.

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In search of Lithium: The battle for the 3rd element

A wonder metal that fires your phone, iPod and shiny new electric car is so clean it may save the planet. But more than half of the world's lithium is beneath this Bolivian desert...and getting it is so dirty it inspired the latest Bond plot.

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Christopher Hitchens on Lebanon and Syria:

In newly liberated Lebanon, the signposts on “the Arab street” point in opposite directions. The author’s experiences—he was buoyed by a huge rally for democracy in downtown Beirut, then beaten up by Fascist bullies—show how much this diverse society offers hope but is still threatened by the Syrian dictatorship next door.

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Green Lasers: The Next Innovation in Chip-Based Beams

Solid-state lasers can produce light in the red and blue parts of the spectrum but not the green. This "green gap" could be plugged as early as this year and this will allow for laser-based video displays that are small enough to fit in a cell phone.

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Chile's Llaima Volcano Erupts

Chile's Llaima volcano spewed lava and belched ash into the sky on Sunday, prompting the evacuation of dozens of people and renewing concerns of a major eruption in one of the world's volcanic hotspots.

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Wilkins ice shelf collapse

Since people are wanting to talk about the latest events on the Antarctic Peninsula, this is a post for that discussion.The imagery from ESA (animation here) tells the recent story quite clearly - the last sliver of ice between the main Wilkins ice shelf Charcot Island is currently collapsing in a very interesting way (from a materials scienc..

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Gamma-Ray Burst May Have Caused Ancient Mass Extinction

A brilliant burst of gamma rays may have caused a mass extinction event on Earth 440 million years ago - and a similar celestial catastrophe could happen again, according to a new study.

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Mexican president: US officials 'complicit' in drug traffic

Mexico's president has an unfortunate message for Americans still ignorant of the Drug War's cold realities: Some of your politicians are involved. Yes folks, it is long-past time to start thinking about alternative strategies for fighting both the harmful effects of drug addiction and the deadly effects of forcing an economy outside of the law.

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IBM, Sun Talks Are Near Collapse

Talks between International Business Machines Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. were on the brink of collapse Sunday, threatening to undermine a potential $7 billion acquisition that would have placed one of Silicon Valley's iconic companies under the Big Blue umbrella.

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Two Galaxies For A Unique Event

To celebrate the 100 Hours of Astronomy, ESO is sharing two stunning images of unusual galaxies, both belonging to the Sculptor group of galaxies. The images, obtained at two of ESO’s observatories at La Silla and Paranal in Chile, illustrate the beauty of astronomy.

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The 10 Worst U.S Natural Disasters

Throughout modern history, the failure to prepare and cope with Mother Nature has resulted in catastrophic consequences, from wrecked economies to thousands of lives lost. Even as modern technology improves forecasts, Nature still gets the upper hand every now and then. Considering both human and economic costs, we present 10 of the worst disasters

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The Whole Banking System is Insolvent -- George Soros

The U.S. economy is in for "a lasting slowdown" and won't recover this year, while "the banking system as a whole is basically insolvent," billionaire investor George Soros said.

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Death Star Poised for Supernova Detonation Aimed at Earth?

Australian astronomers have been studying an intergalactic assassin poised to wipe out life on Earth. Maybe. Observations indicate that cosmological curiosity WR104 may be a killer - and we might be the victim.

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Did a Seismologist Accurately Forecast the L'Aquila Earth..

Yesterday, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck L'Aquila, Italy, killing more than 150 people, injuring some 1,000, and leaving thousands of people homeless. Soon after the deadly temblor hit, news outlets including Time magazine, Reuters, and The New York Times reported Italian authorities had previously removed from the Internet a warning that a ..

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Important Events

Not everything that happens to us is important.

We are born, we get married, have children and die.

In between there are many irrelevant events.

I am back in the States after eleven months out, as dutifully recorded in my Mexican passport, by the pissed off immigration officer that stopped me in Dallas, because I didn't ask permission to leave the US to be absent for more than six months.

So it goes.

Now I am back and wandering what my next move will be.

Strange world.

Show Us the Ball

A cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions is actually a carbon tax. So let’s stop hiding the ball and have a strategy, message and messenger that tell it like it is.

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Striking It Poor

With the dollar diminished and financial institutions in the doghouse, panning for gold nuggets suddenly seems a safer bet than an ephemeral derivative.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Google's interest in Twitter: consciousness search

Why would Google want to buy Twitter? They have yet to properly monetize Youtube, another company they've purchased for what some think was way over value. It is all about the consciousness search.

read more | digg story - Carlos Slim Unit Competes For Mexico Oil Drilling

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has set his sights on Chicontepec, an oil project that state monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos is plowing money into despite the price crash.

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Vermont Legislature Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal

The Legislature on Tuesday overrode a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas, making Vermont the first state to allow gay marriage through legislative action.

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Obama Makes Unannounced Visit to Iraq

Punctuating his week-long overseas trip, President Obama arrived on Tuesday in Baghdad, where he plans to talk to American troops and Iraqi leaders.

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Mexico to Seek IMF Credit, Tap Federal Reserve Swap

Mexico asked for a $47 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund and said it will tap a $30 billion swap line with the Federal Reserve to shore up investor confidence and bolster the currency.

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Mexico making progress on new oil contracts - cos

By Robert Campbell and Daniel Fineren MEXICO CITY/LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Mexico's state oil company Pemex is making good progress drafting contracts that could bring major international oil companies into the country as service providers, oil...

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Marcos Moshinsky Dies.

This great Mexican Physicist has died

Wikipedia on Marcos Moshinsky

I'll miss him.

Farm Workers’ Rights, 70 Years Overdue

Farm and domestic workers deserve basic rights that others have long taken for granted, as well as improvements in safety and sanitary conditions.

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