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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online

The original version of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was published online Thursday (17th April) among a "treasure trove" of the scientist's papers, photographs and other documents.

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Student Artificially Inseminates Herself, Tapes Miscarriages

Aliza Schvarts, A senior art major at Yale, artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages for her senior art project. The Yale Daily News has more details on Aliza Schvart's miscarriage art project. --- Wait, What?*vomits*

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Yankees Bury Bernie Williams Under New Stadium For Good Luck

Do they really think this is going to help...........

NEW YORK—Citing a need for physical and spiritual cleansing after a Boston Red Sox fan entombed a David Ortiz jersey in the floor of the new facility, the New York Yankees buried former centerfielder Bernie Williams under 4,650 pounds of concrete Wednesday in the foundation of the new Yankee Stadium for good luck.

According to team sources, the instant the 39-year-old Williams was completely submerged in the rapidly setting structural material, stopping his voice as his lungs and mouth filled with concrete, the sun broke through the clouds and shone on the yet-incomplete field. Yankees part-owner Hank Steinbrenner called the occurrence a sign indicating that the "Curse Of A Red Sox Fan's David Ortiz Jersey" had been reversed, and that God was once again on the Yankees' side.

Enlarge Image Yankees

"Any attempt to put a hex on the New York Yankees has been successfully averted," Steinbrenner told reporters while standing over the still-wet concrete slab beneath which, judging by the sluggish ripples and lopsided bubbles in the hardening agglomerate, Williams still struggled. "Not that this organization believes in curses. We're the Yankees. We believe the success of our team is based purely on our players and their on-field performance. And we act accordingly."

"However," Steinbrenner continued, "Bernie was on our last World Series team in 2000, so we figured burying him under our new home certainly couldn't hurt. Also, he was available, and his appearance fee was quite reasonable."

The burial ceremony, which delayed the completion of the stadium approximately three weeks and cost roughly $1.5 million—$1,000 of which will go to Bernie Williams' family—involved placing Williams into a six-foot-deep concrete hole directly where the tattered Red Sox jersey was found.

Dressed in his full Yankees uniform and batting helmet, and clutching an autographed ball signed by all members of Yankees' 1996 World Series team, Williams was lowered into the ground and then covered with a combination of concrete, fly ash, slag cement, and coarse aggregate consisting mostly of gravel limestone.

Though Yankees officials did not allow Williams' family to attend the burial, citing the fact they were not "true Yankees," they permitted the former centerfielder to take with him a picture of his wife and three children after Williams provided video evidence proving that all of his family members were present and cheered during the Yankees' championship run between 1996 and 2000.

"Now, we're not necessarily hoping that having him in the foundation will mean our outfielders will start throwing like Bernie, our hitters will begin hitting like him, or our faster baserunners will start running like him," Yankees first-year coach Joe Girardi said. "Most of our guys are already better than he was. We just know—and this is what I told Bernie's family—that the good deed of letting a former Yankee permanently come home will be recognized by the baseball gods and will translate into Yankee victories, which will be good for the entire human race."

Williams, who was smiling from the moment he arrived at the new stadium until his face could no longer be seen, was grateful for the opportunity.

"I would do anything to help this ballclub win another World Series," Williams shouted up to reporters while standing in rapidly filling pit. "Just to be part of this organization again in some capacity is an honor and privilege. And even though I haven't received a thank you from the Steinbrenner family, I know they are appreciative."

"This is what it means to be a lifelong Yankgluh [sic]," Williams attempted to add.

According to Yankees president Randy Levine, the organization had been discussing various ways to exorcize the curse of the buried Red Sox jersey, under which the Yankees went an "unacceptable" 4-4. Levine said that it was Hal Steinbrenner who suggested submerging a former or current player in concrete as a good luck charm.

Interoffice e-mails confirm that players who made the short list were Yogi Berra, Paul O'Neill, and current Yankee outfielder Shelley Duncan.

"Truth be told, we didn't even think of Bernie," Levine said. "But then we got a call from his agent. It took a bit of convincing on their part, but in the end it seemed like this fulfilled both of our needs."

"By giving Bernie this chance, we have once again proven why we are the classiest organization in all of sports," Levine added. "Lesser teams would have overreacted to this whole curse thing and buried Derek Jeter."

When asked if burial in the new stadium guaranteed that Williams' No. 51 would be retired in the new Monument Park, both Steinbrenners had no comment, saying only that they appreciated Mr. Williams' commitment to the team.

Forbes: Yankees Worth $1.3 Billion, Mets $824 Million

The New York Yankees' value increased to $1.306 billion over the past year, according to the annual estimates by Forbes magazine, a rise of 9 percent over the past year. The New York Mets were second at $824 million and the Boston Red Sox third at $816 million

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Congress mulls long overdue credit card reform

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A pair of lawmakers on Thursday urged Congress to move forward with legislation aimed at remedying what they view as questionable practices of the credit card industry which keep many consumers mired in debt.

Speaking before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee, Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich. and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. urged Congressional action as Americans face rising unemployment and sluggishness in the overall U.S. economy.

"If this is going to be resolved, it has to be resolved here in Congress," said Levin.

The credit card industry has come under fire from lawmakers in recent months for what some critics have labeled "unfair" practices such as raising interest rates on debt even when consumers pay on time or when their credit scores change.

The focus of Thursday's hearing, however, was the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights - legislation proposed earlier this year by subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY.

Levin, who was among a group of 15 different witnesses scheduled to testify, introduced a similar bill in the Senate last year. If passed, the law would stop credit card issuers from charging interest rates on debt that is paid on time and require that interest rate hikes apply only to future credit card debt and not debt already incurred.

The issue has also garnered the attention of the Federal Reserve, which has proposed separate action, including requiring credit-card issuers to notify consumers at least 45 days notice if they plan on raising interest rates.

Credit card companies have argued, however, that such a law would have dire consequences on all consumers by making credit more expensive and less easily available.

"In short, if this bill is enacted, the financial burdens associated with the higher-risk customers will be spread across all customers," said John Carey, the chief administrative officer and executive vice president of Citigroup Inc.'s credit card division.

Still, lawmakers, including Rep. Maloney, stressed the need for greater protection for consumers.

"Credit cards are important part of economy, we just want them to be fair to consumers," she said.

Based on the most recent data from the Federal Reserve, the average American family carries an average of $2,200 in credit card debt.

Exactly why pets and/or food do not belong in vehicles

http://g35driver.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212883

Treehouses for All Occasions (PICS)


There’s something about a treehouse that appeals to all of us. Maybe it’s the view, or getting close to nature, or reliving childhood memories. There are many ways to enjoy treehouses, no matter what age you are.Some are new, some we have seen before, but always.....love...treehouses....

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iPhone Commercial Song Recreated Using 3rd Party Apps

Lamborghini to launch free Podcasts on Itunes




Lamborghini to bring podcasts to iTunes



khiratamt
Posted Yesterday 04:11 PM by khiratamt
Category: Miscellaneous, Lamborghini

Lamborghini has launched a new set of podcasts called "The World of Lamborghini" that enthusiasts can subscribe to and download for free.

According to the Raging Bull, the purpose of these podcasts are to "ignite the world's enthusiasm for the most amazing vehicles on the planet" in hopes to "evoke emotions in people of all ages and lifestyles." The podcasts will be updated regularly, so fans will be able to check out every supercar that comes out of Sant'Agata.

Currently, five video podcasts are available on iTunes including one that highlights the one million euro Reventon, an advertisement about Lamborghini customization, and finally, a three-part series titled "Closer to the Road."

An interesting move by Lamborghini, especially since iTunes tries to appeal to a younger, Gen Y demographic. However, a study reported in 2007 shows that users with over a $100,000 annual income make up the largest segment of podcast downloaders at 31 percent, meaning Lamborghini could also have a great marketing strategy on its hands.

Source: Lamborghini

BMW's Innovative Welt Facility


This structure is BMW’s new masterpiece in Munich.

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The Hardest iPod Dock On The Block

rugged radio.jpg Meet the ‘The Daddy’ of iPod docks. You won’t be getting this in your back pocket but if you’re planning a holiday in a Iraq, you’ll appreciate the fact that this thing is built like a Sherman tank.

This is the AM/FM Construction Radio, designed to keep workers happy while surviving more than 5 minutes on construction sites, garages and workshops. The radio/dock’s hard side frame protects it from damage while you listen to AM/FM radio or MP3/WMA tunes stored on your iPod, USB Flash memory stick or SD card.

Apart from being able to shrug off the odd whack from a forklift truck, it has a few things that other iPod docks do not. These include a spotlight, two DC power ports, a 5V DC USB charger for mobile phones and a couple of AC plug outlets to plug in your power tools.

The beast measures 16in x 10.5in x 11.5in and weighs 10lbs. It costs £65 here.-Martin Lynch

[RGS]

You Don't Have to be Jewish to love them


Passover is right around the corner and as surely as Thanksgiving leads to turkey talk, this Jewish holiday calls attention to kosher wines. Israel is the cradle of wine making and its wine industry is flourishing after hundreds of years in abeyance.

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Mr. Awesome - How To be a Gamer & Pick up Chicks


Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 02:15PM

I finally got around to watching The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters last night. A documentary about the bizzarre quest of setting the all time point score for the classic video game, Donkey Kong. This movie was absolutely amazing. It features so many (not intentionally) hilarious lifelong video gamers, and showcases an entire culture of gaming unknown to most of the world.

One of the people featured in the movie was Mr. Awesome. In this clip he talks about how he is the world record holder for Missile Command and how to pick up girls. Enjoy!

Article originally appeared on Lets Get Tight (http://www.letsgettight.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.

Top 10 Entry Level IT jobs in 2008


So much of our lives depend on technology. There are a variety of jobs in that area such as web design, software development, software testing, programming, systems administration, and networking. Even jobs outside the IT sector require IT skills. If you’re contemplating breaking in, consider a few of the highest paid jobs in 2008....

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Roseau, Dominica






Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is one of the few remaining wild places in the Carribean. Due to its extreme terrain it remains largely undeveloped and is much the same as when pirates first hid out there in the 17th century. A true enclave for naturalists and an outdoorsman's paradise.

Cable Boxes out of used Cd spindles


Cables Box - More amazing video clips are a click away

Big reshuffle over at GM

General Motors on Wednesday announced an extreme makeover of its sales, service and marketing organization that it said is designed to streamline the organization, "improve all of our brands and achieve strongly profitable channels at both a wholesale and retail level." The most noteworthy executive change was the announcement that GM has hired former Nissan executive Mark McNabb to head its new "premium channel."

The sales reorganization puts four new brand channels into place. They are Chevrolet, Saturn, Buick-Pontiac-GMC and Cadillac-Hummer-Saab. McNabb will lead the latter channel.

GM said McNabb will join the automaker on April 21. Previously, he was corporate vice president at Infiniti and senior vice president of sales and marketing of Nissan North America. Jim Taylor, Cadillac divisional manager, Martin Walsh, Hummer divisional manager and Steve Shannon, Saab divisional manager, will all report to McNabb.

"[McNabb's] background with Mercedes and Infiniti, in addition to Nissan, make him uniquely suited for this new position as the vice president of the premium brands," said Mark LaNeve, GM's North American vice president for vehicle sales, service and marketing.

In a statement, GM North America President Troy Clarke said the channels "will work closely with GM's global product development teams to ensure the products meet consumer needs." However, GM is not resurrecting its old divisional structure, a system that gave division heads the power to run product development.

What this means to you: Part of the idea of this sweeping change at GM is to get your feedback into the hands of channel leaders so they can respond more quickly to market demands. — Anita Lienert, Corresponden

World’s Craziest Roller Coasters


Roller coasters have long been a huge draw for thrill seekers everywhere. Nothing quite says “being alive” like testing fate on a speeding bullet, dipping and spinning around a steel cage of death. White knuckled, heart racing, screaming until the ride comes to an end and you laughed the words… one more time!

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Coke vending machines going green

Cold drinks, warming planet

To enjoy an ice-cold Coke, do we need to heat up the planet?

The climate-change problem has been the toughest for Coca-Cola to crack. Isdell sees progress in the way the discussion around refrigeration and vending machines has changed. It used to be "around why would we want to do this," he says. "Now we're in the solutions business. That's a totally different paradigm."

It's hard to overstate the complexity of the problem facing Coke. Its system buys only about 1% of the world's compressors, so it needs to enlist backing from other buyers like McDonald's and Unilever. The refrigeration industry supply chain includes compressor manufacturers like Danfoss and Sanyo, component manufacturers like Norsk Hydro and Modine and system integrators like Frigoglass and Fuji, all of whom have investments in existing HFC technology. Commercial coolers are bigger, and they are opened more often than home refrigerators, so they need powerful coolants. HFC does an excellent job of trapping heat, but that's why it's such a problem when it is released into the atmosphere.

On energy-efficiency, Coke has made gains. Today, many of their two-door and bigger coolers are shipped with a proprietary energy-management system that adds about $25 to $30 to the cost of the cooler. Even though the energy savings go to the retailers, its bottlers are willing to foot that bill. "The economics are quite good," Isdell says. These "smart" vending machines learn to shut down when demand slackens-say, at night or on weekends for a vending machine in an office where people work during the day.

And the company has been able to remove HFC from the foam insulation of virtually all of the new coolers that enter the system. That's another step in the right direction, since it reduces demand for HFC; the less HFC that's made, the fewer the emissions during the manufacturing and disposal process.

But HFC is still being used as a coolant in nearly all coolers and vending machines because the alternative developed by Coke and others-a coolant that uses carbon dioxide-is more expensive. It requires retooling the industry, with no direct payback. "We've proven the efficiency, the reliability, the technical merits," says Bryan Jacob, a former Olympic weightlifter who has taken charge of Coke's efforts to curb its emissions, a program called eKOfreshment. "The key obstacle is cost." No one in the value chain is willing to foot the bill to fight climate change.

If nothing else, this demonstrates that companies - by themselves - can't solve the climate problem. Kert Davies of Greenpeace, which has worked with Coke for years, says government may have to intervene - perhaps by providing companies like Coke with economic rewards to stop using potent greenhouse gases. Climate legislation now pending in Congress would gradually phase out HFCs.

Isdell is not discouraged. "There's always a lag when you are rolling out a new technology," he says. Climate change, he says, is a challenging issue for Coke; unlike water or packaging, its relevance to the business is not as obvious. "We'll get there," he says. "We're only at the beginning."

Top 10 tube amplifiers for your iPod [w/pics]


Like melon balls wrapped in prosciutto, playing an iPod through such a vacuum-tube amplifier sounds like a ludicrous combination until you actually try it.I am bloggin' this for Bernies Red aka "Action Jackson", since he doesn't even no what the Blog Is, anymore

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'Heroes' Season 3 Adds More Characters


Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil RamamurthyOne of the things that makes the Heroes story feel so epic is the fact that there are many characters spread out around the globe. Lost may have made it cool to have an expansive, multi-ethnic cast, but Heroes put them all in different locations and gave them awesome superpowers. However, many fans felt that the major flaw of season 2 was that there were too many new faces. New additions like Maya, Alejandro, West, and Monica (Dana Davis) didn't go over well with audiences. Despite the fan backlash against some of these characters, TV Guide's Michael Ausiello has announced that Heroes will be adding two new faces to season 3.

Last week we announced that the show may be adding a new narrator character, and there are rumors that creator Tim Kring wants to add 12 villains as well. If all of these roles make it into the series, that's already a total of 15 new characters in season 3. Does that seem like overkill, or should we just wait and see how these roles are handled?

The two recurring roles that are currently being cast will both debut in the season 3 premiere. The first is a girl named Joy, who is in her early twenties and described as being quick on her feet and adept at getting herself out of trouble. The other character is Senator Robert Malden, who is in his fifties and a political straight shooter. Will he actually be a respectable politician, or will he be out to cause trouble for our heroes?

Based on the "quick on her feet" description of Joy, I'm going to guess that she'll have the power of super speed. While I'm fine with adding a senator to the mix, who may have some interesting interaction with Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar), do we really need another young girl with powers? I think the show should stick to the heroes that have already been introduced, as things are already too crowded. However, maybe Joy will be a villain, which could make things more interesting.

Heroes season 3 will kick off with a two-hour premiere on September 15.

10 Impressive Parkour and Free Running Videos


Parkour and free running have increasingly hit the mainstream, being featured in mainstream movies and prime-time commercial spots. Still, it’s important to remember that these amazing arts of urban building jumping, climbing and running originated in offbeat locations and abandoned buildings.

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Chismillionaire's Thursday recipe of the Week-

Spicy Thai Beef Salad

  • 1 lb beef sirloin or leftover roast or steak
  • 1 tbsp uncooked long-grain or jasmine rice
  • ½ cup cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup sliced Chinese celery *
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 – 7 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mint or cilantro for garnish
  • Small head of lettuce, washed and torn (optional)

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chilies or ground red pepper

*Chinese celery is smaller and more pungent than the western variety, often used in flavouring soups and as a herb. Take care not to confuse with cilantro. Should be available at Asian grocers.

  1. If using uncooked beef, sear or grill to taste and then slice thinly and set aside. If using leftover meat, just slice thinly.
  2. Dry roast the rice grains in a wok or pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove and grind the roasted rice lightly in a mortar and pestle or blender.
  3. Mix the Dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add the sliced meat, cucumber, celery, tomato and shallots and toss to coat. Then add the lettuce and toss again.
  4. Transfer to serving dish and serve garnished with roasted rice and the mint/cilantro.

Serves 4.

Martin Roscheisen's Nanosolar Blog

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Municipal Solar Power Plants
April 16, 2008
Posted by Martin Roscheisen, CEO

At Nanosolar, we believe very much that meaningful scale for solar will come foremost from utility-scale solar power plants, in particular from municipal solar power plants of 2-10MW in size. These are rows of solar panels mounted onto the ground of free fields at the outskirts of towns and cities, feeding power directly into the municipal electricity grid.

A 2MW municipal solar power plant requires about 10 acres of land to serve a city of 1,000 homes — that’s acreage generally easily available at the outskirts of any city of such size in even the most developed countries. Similar for a 10MW plant for a city with 5,000 homes: This would require five such lots.

Municipal solar power plants are an avenue for delivering a GigaWatt of power in a state through one solar farm each in a few hundred cities — local to where the power is needed — as opposed to constructing a new coal-fired or nuclear plant. They can also be deployed very rapidly. (It takes 10-15 years to get a new coal plant done; a solar plant can be done in 12 months — provided no administrative blocks exist).

In a solar power plant, solar panels are mounted onto rails above the ground so that grass and flowers can continue to flourish in between and below the rows of panels. Care is taken that sufficient amounts of rainwater can drop through between adjoining panels so that the flowers and organisms below are not starved.

Municipal solar power plants integrate very naturally into the existing landscape as well as the existing electricity grid. By feeding power into the grid directly at municipal voltage levels (typically 20kV), they even avoid the expense of a substation for down-transforming power from high (multi-100kV) transmission voltages as required by conventional power. Furthermore, the solar power plants utilize power inverter electronics with increasingly intelligent features which enlightened utilities around the world are now recognizing as a very good way to improve grid power quality especially at the outer branches of the electric grid where power quality is hard to manage otherwise.

In any region with a decent amount of sunshine, there is no more economic way of reliably providing municipal power during the day than through a municipal solar power plant.

Ground-mounted solar power plants are installed in industrially streamlined ways, with specialized tractors deploying standardized substructure components according to standard system block designs to achieve optimal cost efficiency.

While rooftops are surely a good application too for solar panels, it is a business that’s difficult to scale rapidly in a truly meaningful way. Crawling onto rooftops and mounting solar panels in compliance with building codes is fundamentally always a somewhat more expensive proposition.

Municipal solar power plants can be deployed at a different level of efficiency and speed. This is just not yet known very well to the public, particularly in the United States and in California (where we have California Solar Incentives which are adminstered by the state utilities and which presently block this most cost-efficient form of installing solar).

But towns and cities throughout Europe and Asia have already proven the concept, and more and more — increasingly entire counties in fact — are now implementing plans to go 100% renewable based on a mix of solar and biofuels. It works, it is economic, and it is possible now. (Any U.S. utility executive who is concerned about the new world of local power but desires to learn more should join this trip.) It is a silent revolution going on that the press rarely reports about.

A good exception is an article today in our local newspaper – “Local communities reach for power over energy” (SF Chronicle) – describing how Marin County in California is wrestling with going for local renewable power. We salute their effort. It is well timed, smart, and with a lot of foresight. They are on the right track based on what we see happening in our own industry and in energy overall. In a few years, they will have less expensive power than it is available in the rest of PG&E territory.

The amount of activity going on behind the scenes in readying technologies, sites, and financings for such is tremendous, and this will become very visible to the public in many locations in the United States in 2010. There is a reason why one of the world’s largest power producers invested in Nanosolar.

But now is the time for cities and counties to lay the adminstrative foundation for having their own power, 100% renewable, if they care to make a difference by then.

PS: The SF Chronicle article describes a dynamic of arguments as it may unfold in a lot of communities these days. There’s the Berkely professor quoted as the “it’s-too-expensive” skeptic. I went through the pain of actually reading the economics paper behind this skepticism and am not surprised: First, he predicts the cost of installing multi-MW municipal power based on the cost of a small residential silicon PV rooftop system. Secondly, he extrapolates the near-term cost of solar by averaging legacy technology providers with emerging cost leaders and completely fails to look at the world’s most streamlined solar installations as a reference (of which there are admittedly none yet in California). I guess these kinds of errors happen as the energy industry transitions to be more like the technology industry.

How To Create a Baby Headed Dancing Frog

Just because.

Bruce ServicePack and the Vista Street Band

According to the Wall Street Journal this is a legit internal video from Microsoft meant to 'motivate' the sales force. If by 'motivate' they mean 'nauseate', 'horrify' and/or 'embarrass', well then I'd call this a resounding success.

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