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New Super Mario Bros Game for Wii Revealed at E3 2009



Nintendo has announced a new Super Mario game named New Super Mario Brothers for Wii at their E3 2009 press conference. The new game is a multiplayer game and allows 4 players to play at once.

New Super Mario Bros Game

There are classic trappings such as coins, warp pipes, etc. which require cooperative play. The game can be played in single player mode, or two, or three, or four. When there are four players, there is a lot more stuff in the game.
New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game New Super Mario Bros Game
You can also pickup and carry other players and switch over at any time. There is also a new item named – Propeller suit. The screen can pan out and there is a tally at the end with bonus points, ranking, coins, etc.

The new game is playable at E3 2009 and is scheduled to launch during holiday 2009.

GM's Hummer brand may be sold to Chinese company

GM has reached a tentative agreement with Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. Terms of the deal, which could save 3,000 jobs, are not disclosed.
By Jerry Hirsch and Ken Bensinger
June 3, 2009
Jerry Hirsch Reporting From Los Angeles Reporting From New York -- A Chinese heavy-equipment maker's move to acquire General Motors Corp.'s Hummer brand has its executives and dealers excited about the possibility of overseas sales growth and more fuel-efficient models.

A day after filing for bankruptcy protection, GM said Tuesday that it had reached a preliminary agreement to sell the sport utility vehicle brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. Terms weren't disclosed.

Tengzhong said it was looking to increase Hummer's presence in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in China, now largely an untapped market for Hummer.

The brand "is synonymous with adventure, freedom and exhilaration, and we plan to continue that heritage by investing in the business," Yang Yi, chief executive of Tengzhong, said in a statement.

He said Tengzhong planned to invest in research and development to create new Hummer-branded products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles for the U.S. market.


Hummer executives concur that the unit, known for outsized, gas-guzzling SUVs inspired by the U.S. military's Humvee transport, has tremendous growth potential in several countries if the brand could spend more on product development and marketing.

"We have distribution in Hummer-friendly and gas-friendly markets like the Middle East and Russia, but to be blunt the amount of marketing attention the brand got as part of a much larger company was quite small," said James Taylor, Hummer's CEO. "With some marketing money we can see some quick upside."

Taylor sees "great" growth potential in China for Hummer, which in effect would become a local brand if acquired by privately owned Tengzhong.

But with oil prices once again surging and stricter fuel efficiency and environmental standards planned in the United States, Taylor said, Tengzhong would have to be prepared to spend on developing new Hummer vehicles.

"We need to ramp up a product development program right way. We need smaller and more fuel-efficient powertrains and have to get mileage into at least the 20s per gallon from the teens," Taylor said.

How much money the Chinese are willing to spend on product development and where Hummer vehicles would be manufactured will be among the topics discussed when Hummer officials meet with Tengzhong executives this week, he said.

Tengzhong, based in the province of Sichuan, said it planned to retain Hummer's senior management and keep in place the auto company's existing dealer agreements. It also signaled that it wanted to reach a long-term accord for GM to continue to supply and assemble Hummers. GM said such a contract would secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs, but cautioned that the deal -- which the companies said they expected to complete in the third quarter -- remained subject to final negotiations.

Hummer dealers also were upbeat about Tengzhong's bid.

Chris Leggio, vice president of Mark Christopher Hummer in Ontario, called news of the deal a relief.

"This is someone who will be committed to the brand and who wants to bring out more models -- vehicles that will be fuel-efficient and inviting to the public," Leggio said. "This is a very iconic brand, known worldwide, but we need new models and fresh ideas."

There's no reason Hummer can't thrive, said Bob Martin, a senior consultant at CarLab, a consulting firm in Orange.

"The overseas demand hadn't been tapped to its fullest, and that's a key to the total global volume potential to make the numbers work," he said.

Closer to home, Martin said, the company needs to stop positioning its vehicles as something a "cool soccer mom" would want to be seen in dropping off the kids off at school.

Instead, he said, the Hummer should be aimed at those who "need or want the most capable off-road vehicles in the world. There are more of those people than you might suspect. These core owners remain utterly in love with the brand and the product, but haven't had a reason to repurchase since GM didn't do anything to keep the product fresh."

The Hummer brand, once a cash cow for GM, came to represent a symbol of the company's misdirected priorities and lack of balance as gasoline prices spiked at more than $4 a gallon nationwide a year ago and activists vandalized Hummer dealerships.

GM has been trying to sell the Hummer brand for a year. It disclosed this spring that it was in negotiations with three prospective buyers.

"I'm confident that Hummer will thrive globally under its new ownership," said Troy Clarke, GM's head of North American operations.

jerry.hirsch@latimes.com

ken.bensinger@latimes.com

15 Essential Moments To (Re)Visit if You Had a Time Machine

By Akela Talamasca

Let’s say you get your hands on a brand new Time Machine. Whether it’s the old-school H.G. Wells chair model, or a tricked-out DeLorean, you’ve now got to decide what you’re going to do with your new toy. But before you run off and start messing up your life, sleeping with your grandmother, and investing in Google stock before the Internet was invented, we’ve got a few ideas for you. Here are 15 moments in time, both past and future, that you may want to just witness before you go and do what you’re inevitably going to do, and ruin everyone’s universe.

The Trinity Test (Past)

trinblast
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If you want to see one of the most awe-inspiring events in human history, then you need to set your time machine for 5:29 AM, July 16th 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Trinity test was the very first successful detonation of a nuclear bomb, with a blast the size of 20,000 tons of TNT. Make sure you pack some Ray-Bans, and apply plenty of sunscreen for this one.

The Roswell Crash (Past)

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Whether it was a UFO or a weather balloon, it’s time we found out just what went down around Roswell, New Mexico on the night of July 2nd, 1947. Just to be sure, camp out for a couple of days before hand, and try to find a spot somewhere on Foster Ranch, outside a little town called Corona, near Roswell. Remember your cameras and flashlights, and a first-aid kit may not be a terrible idea either.

Birth of the First True Artificial Intelligence (Future)

hal9k
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In the movies the first A.I. always turns out to be a total asshole. It nearly always either tries to murder someone, or take over the world, or cause general mayhem while it plots to take over the world or murder someone. This is all Hollywood, so you’ll have to check out just how it pans out when the very first true artificial intelligence wakes up and says hello. Remember, there is still the chance that Hollywood was right all along, so take a really big electromagnet with you just in case.

The First Modern Olympic Games (Past)

1896 OPENING CEREMONY
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In 1896 Athens, Greece hosted the world’s first international Olympic Games. This was a huge event, with crazy steam-powered boats and new-fangled “locomotives” moving people around. It must have been a sight to see this collection of athletes from around the world all in one place, you know that had to be one hell of a party.

Signing of the Declaration of Independence (Past)

decldep
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Even non-Americans want to witness this event in human history. The sheer immense gravity of the situation makes it stand out amongst anything else that any other group of men ever did with pen and parchment.

Mankind Attains Faster Than Light Travel (Future)

light_speed
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Let’s face it, ever since you were a kid and you saw Star Wars for the first time, you wanted to fly through space at light speed. You especially wanted to do it with Chewbacca at your side but we’re trying to be realistic here. Now if the whole “breaking the laws of physics” thing bothers you, well, you’re in a freaking time machine.

The Fall of Rome (Past)

rome
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Granted, it may be a good idea to show up a few years early on this one so you can enjoy Rome while it’s not burning, but we’re going for the excitement here, right? You’ve got all the time in the world (literally) to hang out and live the good life with girls feeding you grapes while you bathe in wine; we want to see the barbarian hordes!

Battle of Thermopylae (Past)

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You should note before going to see this horrifyingly spectacular display of bad-assery that, historically speaking, it was nothing like the movie 300. In fact, it may have been slightly more awesome, even though King Leonidas may not have had such a massively out-of-place (but still cool) accent. Xerxes was probably taller and the elephants were probably twice as big.

First Contact With an Alien Species (Future)

aliens
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Yes, this could easily go badly for us humans, but it’s something you simply cannot miss. You have a time machine, and that means you have a duty to witness certain things that just too far beyond you for there to be any objection. Do humanity a favor though; if you’re going to watch this one happen, take a flame-thrower with you, and if things get out of hand, just ask yourself “what would Ripley do?”

Helen of Troy (Past)

helens
Source 1, Source 2

This is one of those things that simply demands explanation. Was she hot…and by that, I mean was she “sending a country to war hot”? Unfortunately, there is just unbiased record of what this woman looked like. For all intents and purposes, the guy who wrote that story could have had a thing for women like Renee Zellweger… So this is definitely should be on self-respecting male’s pretend, time machine to-do list. Bonus: you also get to see for yourself just how many heroes, gods, and demigods showed up for the fight. Take lots of film.

The Discovery of Beer (Past)

beer
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Anthropologists suggest that without the advent of beer, man may never have banded together and settled down on farms like we did. That means we owe a great deal, pretty much everything, to beer. In honor of this, you should make it a point to go back and see the first pint, bow down to it, salute it, do what you will to it. And if you can, drink some of it. Beer is good, remember.

Mankind’s First Interstellar War (Future)

halo
Source

Nobody wants a war, we all want peace, violence is horrible. That being said, since we can’t really deny the inevitability of mankind having a first interstellar war, we may as well own up to the fact that we all want to see how it starts. More than likely, it will just be man vs. man, with colonies in space fighting each other. That’s still loads of awesome, so make sure you stash your time machine some place safe and settle in for the show. And by safe, I mean one of the Dakotas (there’s nothing there, anyways).

Man’s Discovery of Fire (Past)

fire
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This is arguably the single greatest turning point in the advancement of humanity. Before this point, we were apes. Afterwards, we were apes who could barbeque, things such as animals and other apes. Going back to this time would probably lead to some pretty crazy parties, and even though the language barrier may get in the way (unless you speak ‘grunt’), you’ll be the most handsome guy there. Steve Buscemi doppelgangers excluded.

The Comet that Killed the Dinosaurs (Past)

comet
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Alright, now this one’s tricky. We’re talking about an explosive impact so ridiculously huge, that it killed nearly everything on Earth. You’re going to have to camp out a bit, and keep the binoculars handy to watch for the comet; when this goes down, you had better get some really good pictures, hopefully video, and then hop back in your time machine and out of there as quickly as possible. None of this adventuring means anything if you’re wiped out with the dinos.

Cubs Win the World Series (Future)

cubs
Source

We can at least be hopeful, can’t we?

Don’t Forget This

hangthis
Source

This handy guide will keep you taken-care of in the unfortunate event that you get stranded in time, assuming it’s the past. If you get stranded in the future, then just make a fortune going on talk shows and starring in movies. Since you’ll be so out-dated, you can pull of vintage-chic pretty well, and if that fails there’s always politics.

Brazil finds Air France wreckage, all feared dead

A crew member uses binoculars, in this photo released on June 2, 2009 by the... Enlarge Photo A crew member uses binoculars, in this photo released on June 2, 2009 by the...

Brazilian military planes found wreckage on Tuesday from an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean with 228 people aboard, the airline's worst disaster in its 75-year history.

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said there was "no doubt" that a 5-km strip of debris in the high seas was from the Airbus A330 that went missing in stormy weather early on Monday. Experts were certain that all aboard died.

"The remains, the wreckage, are from the Air France plane," a somber Jobim said at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, where the plane took off for Paris on Sunday night.

Distraught relatives who had been praying for a miracle said they had given up.

"The last bit of hope that we had no longer exists ... Before a lot of us were hoping that the plane could have landed on an island or something like that, but no more," said Aldair Gomes, whose son was on the plane.

Airplane seats, an orange buoy, wiring, pieces of metal and fuel stains were spotted in the water by Brazilian air force pilots about 1,200 km northeast of the coastal city of Recife.

So far no bodies have been sighted, and pulling out bits of wreckage may not start until Wednesday when navy ships with divers arrive.

It is likely to be extremely difficult to find the flight data and voice recorders that hold clues to why the plane fell out of the sky in the middle of the night. The recorders could be on the ocean floor at a depth of 2,000 to 3,000 meters (6,600-9,800 feet), Jobim said.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he was confident that the black boxes would be found.

"I think a country that can find oil 6,000 meters under the ocean can find a plane 2,000 meters down," he told reporters in Guatemala, referring to recent oil finds by Brazil's state energy company in ultra-deep waters.

The recorders are designed to send homing signals for up to 30 days when they hit water, but many do not float well. It could be among the hardest recovery tasks since the exploration of the Titanic, one expert said.

"If you think how long it took to find the Titanic and that the debris would be smaller, you are looking for a needle in haystack," said Derek Clarke, joint managing director of Aberdeen-based Divex, which designs and builds military and commercial diving equipment.

MYSTERY, RELATIVES WANT ANSWERS

Authorities were baffled by how a storm could have caused the modern plane operated by three experienced pilots to crash without sending a mayday call.

Experts from France have arrived in Brazil to lead the investigation with help from Brazilian teams.

Brazil's air force last had contact with Flight AF 447 at 0133 GMT on Monday when it was 565 km from its coast. The last automated signals, which reported an electrical failure, were received about 40 minutes later.

One theory is that a lightning strike or brutal weather set off a series of failures. But lightning routinely hits planes and could not alone explain the downing, aviation experts said.

Two Lufthansa jets believed to have been in the same area half an hour before the Air France mishap are expected to provide clues for investigators, the World Meteorological Organization said.

Among the 216 passengers were executives from major companies that have ramped up investments in Brazil in recent years and European tourists returning from its famous beaches as well as seven children and one baby.

"My son died on his birthday," said a tearful Diana Raquel, mother of British-based Brazilian dentist Jose Rommel Amorim, who turned 35 on Sunday.

French electrical equipment firm CGED said 10 of its staff were on the plane with their partners after visiting Brazil, which declared three days of mourning.

(Additional reporting by Brian Ellsworth, Alonso Soto, and Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio; Fernando Exman in Brasilia; William Maclean and Jason Neely in London; Tim Hepher and Estelle Shirbon in Paris; Michael Connor in Miami)

Pedro Fonseca and Maria Pia Palermo

Cappadocia's fairy-tale-like landscapes



latimes.com — A popular attraction in central Turkey, Cappadocia is known for the fairy-tale-like rock formations that bespeckle the region. Called fairy chimneys, or hoodoos, these formations have been carved by erosion over the millennia.

Click here for the (PICS)


Spiderman Alain Robert conquers Sydney but gets arrested

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

Spiderman in Sydney

A REAL-LIFE Spiderman has descended on Sydney and is coming down to earth after scaling a 41-storey building - with police waiting to arrest him. See the dare devil act l
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A REAL-LIFE Spiderman scaled a 41-storey building in Sydney today but was greeted by police waiting to arrest him on his descent

A crowd of about 200 people gathered at the corner of Phillip and Bent streets as Alain Robert climbed the RBS Tower at Aurora Place about 10.30am.

'Spiderman' fined $750 for "disrespecting" Australia

Gallery: Daredevil in action

The crowd cheered when he reached the top of the building about 11.15am and immediately began his descent to street level.

Police had closed off a section of Bent St between Phillip and Macquarie streets and had officers ready to arrest Robert.

He was duly arrested him when he finished his descent, to more cheers from the crowd.

Robert has scaled more than 70 skyscrapers all over the world including Chicago's Sears Tower, Canary Wharf in London and the Petronas towers in Malaysia.

Peta, an office worker who stopped to watch as she was buying a coffee after a morning meeting, said it was fantastic that Robert was climbing the building.

"I think it's is really important for people to push the limit, I think it's an important part of life going out and doing crazy things," she said.

"It's absolutely ridiculous, it's great. I love it."

Robert scales buildings all over the planet and has arrived to Australia with no plans of slowing down.

Robert's target was not revealed until just before he started up Aurora Place at the corner of Phillip and Bent sts in Sydney's CBD this morning.

Superintendent Ken Finch was less than impressed with Robert's efforts.

"The potential for danger not only to that person is enormous but a danger to onlookers, and to the emergency services who were diverted from the normal course of their duties,'' he said.

"It's not only dangerous, it's time-consuming and costly to the taxpayers of this state.''

Robert was taken to The Rocks police station and questioned before being charged with risking the safety of another by climbing a building or structure.

He was released on bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court tomorrow.

It's not the Frenchman's first brush with NSW police: in 2003 he was arrested for scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Early last month Robert was arrested after he climbed the Lloyds building in London in protest of climate change.

Robert has climbed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, the Empire State building in New York and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Related:

www.alainrobert.com - Alain's website with pics
BBC World News: Spiderman' scales tallest tower
Spiderman nabbed climbing Malaysian twin towers
Spiderman Detained After Moscow Climb
French Spiderman' scales Hong Kong hotel
Man Scales Times Building and Is Arrested
French "Spiderman" arrested atop Lisbon bridge

Winona Ryder Confirms 'Heathers' Sequel, Denies Angelina Jolie Feud



Fans of the 80s cult classic Heathers should be excited to hear that the star of the film, Winona Ryder, has confirmed that a sequel is in the works.

Ryder admitted, "Whatever you hear, there is a sequel in the works. I swear to God. But for some reason the writer Dan Waters and director Michael Lehman don't want to talk about it. I've been wanting to do a sequel forever. There is a story, and Christian [Slater] has agreed to come back as a kind of Obi-Wan character."

Additionally, Winona cleared up any rumors that she's ever been jealous of Girl, Interrupted co-star Angelina Jolie, who won an Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress category. Winona said, "When it came out, people almost felt bad for me. But I expected it all along. I was really happy with the film, and really proud of it." Look, guys, Winona's just happy to be working.

Man Wakes From Brain Surgery As A Talented Artist

By Daily Mail Reporter


Stoke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stick-men before his stroke

Stroke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stickmen before his life-saving brain operation

For most, stroke and brain surgery can be devastating but for Alan Brown it sparked a previously unseen talent... as an artist.

When Alan, 49, emerged from a gruelling 16-hour operation following his stroke, he found he had become a reborn 'Michelangelo' and was able to paint and draw with incredible detail.

Alan, from Malvern, Worcestershire, believes the surgery must have 'flicked a switch' in the creative part of his brain.

Until the stroke, Alan was unable to draw or paint, and the best he could manage was a simple 2D stickman.

The father-of-three spent two months recovering in intensive care before he was well enough to write and 'doodle' to pass the time and this is when he discovered his bizarre new talent.

Alan, who is divorced, said: 'I was out of the danger zone but still in intensive care and a nurse came up to me and said I looked bored and suggested I start drawing.

'She gave me a pencil and some paper and photograph of her dog which I copied almost perfectly.

'She looked at it and asked me if I was an artist. I said no and she said I should look into doing a course. Since then I've never looked back.'

Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery

Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery

Alan, who used to run a double-glazing firm, collapsed at his home six years ago after suffering a bout of migraines.

He was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan where doctors discovered a burst blood vessel, or aneurysm, in his brain.

He was transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for surgery.

Enlarge alan brown paintings

Creative streak: A display of Mr Brown's work

During a mammoth 16-hour operation - which involved a team of 15 surgeons - Alan almost died twice after suffering a major stroke.

He said: 'Going through this illness brought out a creative side of me that I never even knew existed.'

'I had never even set foot in an art gallery, let alone tried creating my own art work.'

Alan, who has three children, Joshua, 16, Ellie, 10 and Maisy, eight, is now about to graduate from Worcester university with a Fine Art Degree.

He has also decided to open his own art gallery in Malvern after turning his back on selling double-glazing.

He said: 'The stroke left me without the use of my left arm which would mean I'm pretty useless at work.

'I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and art felt like my calling.

'I'm incredibly proud of my work. I don't have a particular style because I love all kinds of art from portraits to landscapes.'

Last month, Yorkshireman Chris Gregory, 30, shocked his family when he woke up from a brain-op with a thick Irish accent.

A spokesman for Headway, the brain injury association, said: 'It is always encouraging to hear about people with acquired brain injuries discovering new skills and talents.

'Brain injury can be devastating and can mean having to relearn even the most basic of life skills, but there is life after brain injury.

'An injury to the brain can result in varying and unpredictable effects.

'While most of the effects involve a loss of functioning, in some cases people have been known to acquire or discover new skills, although the exact reason for this is not fully understood.'

Men 'live longer' if they marry a younger woman

Men are likely to live longer if they marry a younger woman, new research suggests.

Men 'live longer' if they marry a younger woman
The risk of premature death is reduced by 11 per cent if they mARRY a woman seven to nine years younger. Photo: GETTY

A man's chances of dying early are cut by a fifth if their bride is between 15 and 17 years their junior.

The risk of premature death is reduced by 11 per cent if they marry a woman seven to nine years younger.

The study at Germany's Max Planck Institute also found that men marrying older women are more likely to die early.

The results suggest that women do not experience the same benefits of marrying a toy boy or a sugar daddy.

Wives with husbands older or younger by between seven and nine years increase their chances of dying early by 20 per cent.

This rises to 30 per cent if the age difference is close to 15 and 17 years.

Scientists say the figures for men may be the result of natural selection – that only the healthiest, most successful older men are able to attract younger mates.

"Another theory is that a younger woman will care for a man better and therefore he will live longer," said institute spokesman Sven Drefahl.

The study examined deaths between 1990 and 2005 for the entire population of Denmark.

On average in Europe, most men marry women around three years younger.

Hugo Boss Made Nazi Uniforms Using Concentration Camp Labor


The German clothing factory that eventually became the international menswear powerhouse Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms during World War II and most likely did so using slave labor.

The revelation appeared in the latest issue of the Austrian current affairs magazine Profil. A statement from Hugo Boss AG, which is based in Metzingen, Germany, details and confirms much of the account.

"The clothing factory founded by Mr. Hugo Boss manufactured work clothes and we think SS uniforms as well . . . we're currently trying to find what was going on," said Monika Steilen, spokeswoman for Hugo Boss AG, by phone from headquarters in Germany.

Boss, who died in 1948, founded his family-owned garment business in 1923. The company struggled for a time, fell into bankruptcy, and then, during the war, made the uniforms worn by the German SS, storm troopers, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth. It's likely that the factory was manned by forced labor, including concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war.

News of the tainted past of Hugo Boss AG, which has a turnover of about $535 million a year, caught 7th Avenue off guard. The industry is slowly absorbing the news and wondering about the possible effect on the company's image and business fortunes.

Such bombshells about German companies are not unusual. BMW used slave labor to repair airplane engines, says Steven Luckert, historian and a curator at the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Still, being manufacturer of Nazi uniforms, as opposed to airplane parts or rivets, packs a larger emotional punch, he says.

How to Photograph a Baseball Game

baseball-photography.jpg

Today Pro Photographer Jim Bryant shares a comprehensive set of tips in a tutorial on how to photograph Baseball.

Baseball is a visual feast or famine game. If the pitcher is really great, there’s nothing to shoot. If both teams are better at offense than defense you’ll wind through a lot of frames rapidly.

By photographers’ standards, these are slow games. The majority of most games are as visually exciting as watching grass grow. However, there are brief moments of amazing athletic ability and severe collisions. Because this window is so tight (and the extremely-hard, fast-moving balls [and bats] that seem to have photographers magnets in them), it’s important to pay close attention during the entire game. Otherwise you miss the shot and/or wake up in the hospital covered in blood.


Convert a Car to Biodiesel

From Wired How-To Wiki

We've all heard stories about the wonders of biodiesel cars. Unfortunately, rigging a vehicle to run on this cheaper, more environmentally sound fuel takes more than a "Veggie-powered" bumper sticker. Here's the scoop on how to transform your ride into a petroleum-free, cash saving driving machine.

Contents

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Diesel Vs. Biodiesel Vs. Vegetable Oil

There's often a little confusion when it comes to the term "biodiesel." When one speaks of converting their vehicle, it's usually in reference to vegetable oil specifically. However, this confusion is compounded by the fact that most diesel engines can run on regular diesel, biodiesel, and some form of vegetable oil too. Here's the difference between the three:

Petroleum Diesel (petrodiesel)

This is the 'regular' diesel you'll find at a gas station. It's easy enough to locate, and ultimately what a diesel engine was designed for. In addition to supply advantages, petrodiesel is also better suited for colder temperatures than its bio cousins.

Biodiesel

Photo by skidrd on Flickr
Photo by skidrd on Flickr
Biodiesel is basically a non-petroleum variation of diesel that's been chemically modified through a process called transesterification. Though not nearly as available as petrodiesel, it's often sold in varying mixes of petrodiesel/biodiesel. A system called the "B factor" is used to denote the percentage of biodiesel contained within a petrol/bio mix. For example, biodiesel rated "B5," "B20," or "B100" contains 5 percent, 20 percent, and 100 percent biodiesel respectively. These percentages are worth noting because some stock diesel engines have problems running on pure biodiesel (B100) for extended periods of time.

Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO)

If you've stepped foot in a kitchen, chances are you've encountered straight vegetable oil. It's commonly derived from soy, corn, palm, hemp, or a number of other vegetable sources. Despite being the brass ring for biodiesel aficionados, the setbacks for this fuel source are numerous. For starters, it's extremely expensive if purchased off the shelf -- especially compared to petrodiesel. Also, since it hasn't been chemically treated like biodiesel, SVO tends to turn to gel at low temperatures.

Step 1: Get a Diesel Car

Bad news gasoline lovers. The cornerstone of this conversion is a diesel engine. Since diesel vehicles fell out of vogue for automakers during the 90's, finding a newer used car may prove a challenge. But on the bright side, automakers should be bringing diesel cars back into the marketplace in the coming years.

Step 2: Scout a Fuel Source

Waste Vegetable Oil: It's not clean. It's not pleasant. But it's cheap (and good for the environment).
Waste Vegetable Oil: It's not clean. It's not pleasant. But it's cheap (and good for the environment).
What good is an eco-friendly car without eco-friendly fuel? Believe it or not, the best starting point for large amounts of vegetable oil is restaurants. Local fast food joints should have vats of used SVO (sometimes called waste vegetable oil) out back, and ripe for the taking. However, there's no guarantee you'll be able to waltz in and skim whenever you want. It's best to talk to the manager and get a feel for how much SVO the business generates and then try to hash out a regular pickup schedule.


A good balance is make an arrangement with a few businesses in the area to secure a rotating supply. Don't panic if you can't secure a solid source right off though. After all, you can still run on petrodiesel or even biodiesel in the meantime.

Step 3: Procure a Conversion Kit

A conversion kit is pretty much mandatory for SVO-only operation. Like any other large purchase, it's advisable to hit up online biodiesel communities before rushing out to make a purchase. Shopping around and compiling testimonials is crucial for two reasons: First, prices for equipment and labor can vary greatly. Second, it's likely there's a specific kit that works best with the make and model car you've chosen. Picking the collective brain of the local biodiesel community will likely bring details like this to light. Good sources for kit info can be found at greasecar.com and frybrid.com.

Step 4: Choose Your Install Method

Mechanic

Playing grease monkey not your thing? Finding a mechanic to do the install for you shouldn't be too hard. Just be sure to find someone who has some sort of experience performing the conversion. Chances are you're voiding the vehicle's warranty by undergoing this process, so it's best to have someone skilled in your corner if something goes wrong or additional maintenance is needed.

Self-Install

The sky's the limit with modifications. Just remember you're responsible for the upkeep.  Photo by 300td.org on Flickr
The sky's the limit with modifications. Just remember you're responsible for the upkeep. Photo by 300td.org on Flickr
Tackling a kit install isn't an impossible task, but it's definitely involved. Luckily, most kits are relatively user-friendly and designed with the eco-conscious DIYer in mind. Below are some of the the more common mods you'll have to install:


  • SVO Fuel Tank

The difference in viscosity between SVO and diesel can be problematic given their different gel points. So, most kits employ a two tank system for keeping the fuels separate. This is usually achieved by providing a second fuel tank (typically stored in the trunk) specifically for the SVO. Any kit up to snuff should also supply a pumping system for getting the SVO out of the fuel system for once the car is no longer in use.

  • Hose/Seal Overhaul for the Fuel System

Though diesel engines can handle SVO, it's a toss up whether the fuel system is compatible. Rubber hoses and seals from older vehicles are notorious for breaking down after prolonged exposure to heated SVO. If you're able to locate a kit specific to your make and model, it's not uncommon to see a new set of SVO-safe hoses, seals, and additional filters included for install.

  • Heating System

One of the biggest setbacks of SVO is its need for heat. Conversion kits combat this by including a heating system to warm the SVO before pumping it into the fuel system. One of the most common setups is a system that pumps waste heat from the radiator into the SVO tank. If the kit doesn't include a similar system, take heed -- the cold will always be your enemy, and you're going to need some sort of heating solution to keep the SVO running smoothly through the fuel system.

Step 5: Filter The Used SVO and Fill the Tank

The filtering process can be long and messy, but it'll save your fuel system.  Photo by Laboratorio en Movimiento on Flickr
The filtering process can be long and messy, but it'll save your fuel system. Photo by Laboratorio en Movimiento on Flickr
With a used SVO supply and a converted vehicle, you're almost ready to get moving. The final hurdle is filtering the waste oil you've collected and getting it into the SVO tank. Although there are a number of filtration methods, one of the simplest is to heat the oil (a container as simple as a metal bucket can work) and then pour it through a series of cheap household filters. Large coffee filters or even mesh strainers should do the trick, but there's lots of room to get fancy if money isn't an issue. Just remember that the ultimate goal is to remove any visible leftover food particles and debris before loading it into the SVO tank.

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