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Friday, July 22, 2011

Isola di Loreto (pic)

Lake Iseo or Lago d'Iseo or Sebino is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy. It is situated in the north, in the Val Camonica, near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo. Its surface is also divided between the homonymous province. Although it is one of the world's most industrialized areas, is situated in an area of ​​great natural and ecological wealth. In the middle of the lake lies the island Monte Isola, the largest lake island in southern Europe.

An Island Slideshow: Lavrukhin’s trip to Monte Isola (near Sale Marasino), Lombardy, Italy was created by TripAdvisor. See another Sale Marasino slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

Oslo: Bomb blast near Norway prime minister's office

Eyewitness Ingunn Anderson says she saw many injured people

Norway Attacks

A massive bomb blast has hit government buildings in the Norwegian capital Oslo, killing at least seven people and injuring several others.

PM Jens Stoltenberg described the situation as "very serious".

The bomb was followed by a fatal shooting incident near Oslo at a youth meeting of the Labour Party, which Mr Stoltenberg leads.

Norwegian media said at least four people were killed when a man opened fire indiscriminately.

Police said the suspected gunman had been arrested, TV2 reported.

No group has said they carried out the attacks but police say they believe them to be linked.

Hours after the bomb struck Oslo, officials said some people were still inside the damaged buildings, some of which were on fire.

Television footage from the government quarter showed rubble and glass from shattered windows in the streets and smoke from the fires drifting across the city. The wreckage of at least one car could be seen.

Smoke in downtown Oslo

All roads into the city centre have been closed, said national broadcaster NRK, and security officials evacuated people from the area, fearing another blast.

Mr Stoltenberg, in a telephone call to Norwegian television, said all government ministers were safe.

He said he had been advised by police not to reveal his current location, but is not thought to have been in central Oslo on Friday.

"Even if one is well prepared, it is always rather dramatic when something like this happens," he said.
Egil Vrekke, Assistant Chief Constable of Oslo police told the BBC the rescue operation was ongoing.
"We are issuing warnings just [to] make sure people are not in the area in case there are further explosions," he told the BBC.

"We have cordoned off large areas. There are bomb experts at the scene investigating whether there are other devices in the area."

A spokesman for Oslo University hospital said 10 people had been taken there for treatment, some with serious injuries.

A few hours after the explosion, reports emerged of the shooting at a Labour Party youth camp in Utoeya, an island outside the capital.

TV2 said at least four people had been killed and several injured - there were reports a gunman was wearing a police uniform.

"This created a panic situation where people started to swim from the island" said Labour Party spokesman Per Gunnar Dahl.

Mr Stoltenberg, who had been due to visit the camp on Saturday, told TV2 the situation in Utoeya was critical.

'Focus on rescue'
State Secretary Kristian Amundsen said Friday was a public holiday in Norway so the government offices were not as busy as they might usually have been.

Assistant Chief Constable Egil Vrekke: "There are a lot of casualties"

"But there are many hundreds of people in these buildings every day," he told the BBC.

"We have to focus on the rescue operation - there are still people in the building, there are still people in the hospital."

Reuters said the oil ministry was among the other government buildings hit, while NRK journalist Ingunn Andersen said the headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG were also damaged.

"It's complete chaos here. The windows are blown out in all the buildings close by," she told AP.

Oistein Mjarum, head of communications for the Norwegian Red Cross, which has offices nearby, said the blast could be heard across Oslo.

"This is a very busy area on Friday afternoon and there were a lot of people in the streets, and many people working in these buildings that are now burning," he said.

Local resident Silvio told the BBC the blast shook everything in his apartment and that he saw several unconscious people in the street.

"If they were dead or not I wouldn't be able to tell you but they were receiving assistance at the time."
Mr Mjarum said people across Oslo and Norway were in shock.

"We have never had a terrorist attack like this in Norway - if that's what it is - but of course this has been a great fear for all Norwegians when they have seen what has been happening around the world."

The United States has condemned the "despicable acts of violence" in Oslo, while the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said he was "deeply shocked" by "these acts of cowardice for which there is no justification".


Are you in Oslo and did you see what happened? Get in touch and let us know if you witnessed this event. You can send eyewitness accounts using the form below.

Whoops! $1 million worth of wine spilled


Whoops! $1 million worth of wine spilled
More than 5,000 bottles of Australian wine won't be in glasses after a forklift accident Thursday.

A malfunctioning forklift dropped 462 cases of wine in Australia on Thursday, a spill with a price tag of more than $1 million.

The 5,544 bottles of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove shiraz, with a price tag of $185 a bottle,  fell almost 20 feet to ground of a wharf in Port Adelaide as the forklift was loading it for shipment abroad, according to media reports.

"We just couldn't believe it," winemaker Sparky Marquis said in a report on Adelaide Now. "As you can imagine, this wine is our pride and joy. To see it accidentally destroyed, and not consumed, has left us all a bit numb.

"The container manager said that when his team came and told him what had happened, he was looking around for cameras to see if it was a 'gotcha' hoax. He realised it was serious when nobody was laughing," Adelaide Now quotes Marquis as saying.

Marquis told that only one carton among the 462 was undamaged. His staff was searching through the others to see if any other bottles may have escaped.

"All of the bottles are in the cool store and we're just having to go through every single bottle, check it first of all to see if it has any cap seal damage to it, in which case it just gets immediately discarded," quotes him as saying.

The lost wine represents a third of his company's output for a year.

Brett McCarthur of Kerry Logistics, the company which operated the forklift, told Adelaide Now his company moves tens of thousands of heavy containers each year.

"We move hundreds of pallets a day filled with sand and even stuff that it wouldn't matter if you dropped it from 50 feet in the air, but the only premium container had to be the one," McCarthur was quoted as saying.
Marquis said he was working with insurers to get compensated for his loss.

Star Wars Deleted Scenes Sneak Peek

R2 getting chased by a wampa?

The Star Wars franchise feels like a aging cocker spaniel these days. Always able to bring a smile out of us, in truth it is tired, confused, and looking for a quiet corner in which to die.
Cheer up though because George Lucas is wheeling it out again, this time insisting you buy 9 Blu Ray discs known as Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Annoyingly it actually looks quite good, particularly after this sneak peek at some deleted scenes was released.

Available to buy in September. Groan, if we have to...

Cannabis May Help Treat Autism

Published by Rib

The list of maladies which may be eased or cured by ingesting THC just got longer. A few more of these and the list of proven benefits of pot may get to be as long as the list of disproved arguments against legalization.
Parents of autistic children are increasingly turning to cannabis to help their children relax, eat and interact with other people in a more positive manner. Parents of children who were previously sullen, aggressive and disconnected have seen those same children become easy going and happy in response to doses of MM.
"It was a medication with the result we'd been hoping for, for so long..."
"He was happy again, smiling, laughing. There was the boy we'd lost for so long, who we wondered if we'd ever see again."
Most doctors are cautious not to recommend MM as therapy for affected kids, but the movement to at least study the usefulness of cannabis to treat the symptoms of autism seems to have a little momentum. For right now, it's just more good news.

The only proper way to see Inception

Navy testing robot Jet Ski for harbor patrols

Called "Blackfish," the vehicle is designed to protect harbors from terrorists posing as recreational watercrafts or swimmers.

By Eric Niiler
  • The 10-foot long remote-controlled jet ski cruises across the waves at 40 miles per hour.
  • It will patrol ports where U.S. Navy ships are docked.
blackfish To build Blackfish, engineers sawed off the top half of an existing jet ski and added sensor packages for underwater sonar, surface radar and a video camera.


Naval commanders have a new tool in protecting their ships against bad guys in the water: a 10-foot long remote-controlled jet ski that can see underwater and cruise across the waves at 40 miles per hour. The so-called “Blackfish” is undergoing testing by the Office of Naval Research after its recent development by the British defense contractor Qinetiq.

Developers of the Blackfish say its design to scare off swimming terrorists who may be lurking in ports where U.S. ships are docked. Such a suicide attack by Al-Qaeda operatives killed 17 sailors on the USS Cole back in 2000 when it was docked in the Yemeni port of Aden.

“In both domestic and foreign ports, there’s great concern about swimmers approaching the boats underwater,” said Mark Hewitt, senior vice president for maritime and transportation for Qinetiq North America. “The Navy has been working on the problem for some time.”

While the U.S. Navy boasts huge firepower, and the ability to launch a full-scale war from sea, its real vulnerability, experts say, is from small watercraft or swimmers who can slip through the cracks. That’s where something like the Blackfish comes into play.

Hewitt said engineers at the company “sawed the top half off” an existing jet ski and added sensor packages for underwater sonar, surface radar and a video camera. The craft operates within a one-kilometer range from its human driver, and can be programmed to run a route through the water based on GPS waypoints. There’s also the possibility of adding weaponry.

Hewitt said the toughest engineering challenge was making it go slow enough.

“It’s a jet ski, it goes fast,” he said. “Human swimmers only go two knots. We solved the problem by adding bow thrusters, so you can turn off the main propulsion and track at low speeds.”

Hewitt says any collision between Blackfish and a friendly surfer or swimmer probably won’t result in major injuries; it uses a hydro-jet instead of a propeller. Still unanswered is the question of who is at fault if someone were to get hit by a robo-ski, the human operator or the company who made the robot.

Port security has been a huge concern for the navy, as well as the commercial shipping industry. Just last month, experts from several branches of the U.S. military, the Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard, local authorities put together a war game of sorts in San Francisco Bay to figure out how best to detect a threat from a boat.

The simulation is will continue for several months using Navy and civilian law enforcement, working with underwater vehicles, drone aircraft, linked computer networks and other kinds of advanced sensors to counter a nuclear radiological threat smuggled aboard a small craft, according to Alex Bordetsky, associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and director of the project, which is a collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

The idea of using unmanned vehicles like Blackfish to perform difficult, boring or dangerous tasks are gaining fans at the Pentagon, according to Sam LaGrone, U.S. maritime reporter for Jane’s Defence Weekly. In addition to a technological advantage, LaGrone says there’s a big financial one as well. Robot guards don’t need breaks, and they cost less to operate.

“If you have an unmanned system that can persistently hang out and cover more ground than a person with eyeballs and a rifle, it’s something to consider,” LaGrone said. “That’s probably why they are pursuing this. The name of the game is saving money.”

The Amazing Spider-Man trailer: 'Not amazing'


Yet another look at the web-slinger's origins? Too bad the Tobey Maguire version is still fresh in viewers' minds

Andrew Garfield stars as the swinging man-about-town in the upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man," and some critics say it's far too soon for a franchise reboot.
Andrew Garfield stars as the swinging man-about-town in the upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man," and some critics say it's far too soon for a franchise reboot. Photo: Facebook

Best Opinion:  New York, Indie Wire, Entertainment Weekly

The video: Is it too soon for a Spider-Man franchise reboot? That was the overwhelming consensus when The Amazing Spider-Man was announced, barely three years after Sam Raimi's Tobey Maguire-led trilogy finished its theatrical run. Now, the trailer for the new film, directed by (500) Days of Summer's Marc Webb, with The Social Network's Andrew Garfield filling out Spidey's suit, has been released. (Watch the clip below.) The new rendering (due in summer 2012) focuses, just as Raimi's did in 2001, on Peter Parker's first awakening as a super-hero. There's the spider bite, the awkward experimenting with powers, and hints of the tragic death that catalyze Parker's heroism.

The reaction: Sigh, says Kyle Buchanan at New York, it's "that same, familiar tale." Sigh, indeed, says Kevin Jagernauth at Indie Wire, and the two-and-a-half-minute clip is plagued by a "truly wonky, gimmicky," point-of-view web-slinging sequence that seems better suited for a video game or amusement park ride than a big-budget franchise reboot. The trailer is "disappointingly not amazing or even, well, good." And yet, this first glimpse at least looks "darker" than Raimi's trilogy, says Darren Franich at Entertainment Weekly, with its "moody music" and "David Fincher-y shots" of Parker in high school. If the film really is this "darkly emotional," it could be a "legitimately interesting," if premature, revisiting of the Spidey tale. Check it out:

20 Shockingly Great iPhone Photographs

By Justin

The iPhone is now officially the most-used camera in the world, according to Flickr, and it’s camera gets better in every version. Entire subcultures of “iPhoneographers” have formed, and now there are people who shoot professional-quality images with their iPhones, and those who are obsessed with vintage photography who use the popular Hipstamatic and Instagram apps. There are now even iPhone-only photography competitions and clubs!
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Here are fantastic iPhone photos to get your mind going about all the crazy things that are possible when you focus on the art, not on the equipment. (credit appears below photos)
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By ZeHak
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By Justin Lowery
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By Sarah
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By Greg Schmigel
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By Ian Bramham
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By Catastrophic Plan on Flickr
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By D. Ingraham
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By Doctor Popular on Flickr
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By Marianne S. on Flickr
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By Joshua Ewing on Flickr
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By Ryan Tastad
All of these photographers have managed to utilize the great photography apps on the iPhone, paired with it’s always-present nature, to make great images. It’s so true that, as they say, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

Van Damme Friday - Van Damme is here to cool you off during thisi HeatWave!!