Friday, July 25, 2008
By - Oddly enough this article was unsigned on the newspaper's website...
Is Bigfoot for real?
A Clayton County Police officer says he and a friend have the body of a Bigfoot.
The animal -- a legendary, hairy hominid that supposedly lives in remote forests -- is said to be dead, frozen, and "shocking."
Matthew Whitton, a 28-year-old, who has been with the department for six years, and Rick Dyer, a 31-year-old former correctional officer, posted a video on youtube.com, last week, claiming to have the male Bigfoot corpse.
Whitton and Dyer co-own bigfoottracker.com, offering exploration expeditions in the North Georgia Mountains,
On their web site Whitton and Dyer announced an alleged discovery: "We have located a family of Bigfoot, and besides the clear photos and video, we have something even more shocking, a BODY."
The Clayton County Police Department responded to the news with an official statement giving the department some distance.
"That's his own personal business," said Police Chief Jeff Turner. "That has nothing to do with the business of the Clayton County Police Department. As long as he's not engaged in any type of illegal activity, his business is his business."
Turner said it is against department policy for any officer to represent himself or herself online, as an officer or anything other than an individual, private citizen, and said he does not know that Whitton has violated that policy.
Whitton is currently on leave, recovering from a gunshot wound to his left hand during a response to a Stockbridge armed robbery earlier this month.
The people who believe in Bigfoot and are searching for evidence responded to the announcement with a mixture of disbelief, ridicule and hope. The Bigfoot Field Research Organization, a California-based group claiming there have been 61 Bigfoot sightings in Georgia, officially described Whitton and Dyer as "idiots" and "clowns," and warned their claims are a scam to advertise their business.
Tal H. Branco, an Arkansas man who writes a regular column about Bigfoot research, said a lot of Bigfoot people think the whole thing's a hoax, but a lot of people are hoping, too, that they do have a Bigfoot body.
"Maybe Whitton did obtain the hard evidence required to solve one of the world's greatest mysteries," Branco said. "It is apparently being promoted by a police officer that has everything to lose as far as his profession is concerned, if it is a game, a hoax or just a joke. On the other hand, if it is true, and the Bigfoot body is in his custody ... his decision to announce it on an Internet web site before the body was examined by an expert certainly indicates a lack of good judgment."
In one video, posted online by "RDYER678," Whitton and Dyer interview a "pathologist" who is shocked at the Bigfoot... Read the rest here.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Imagine that this is your plate of lobster... Looks good, doesn't it?
You will notice the claws of your lobster have been banded. These should be removed before the lobster is eaten, but not before the live lobster is steamed. The bands are placed on the lobster for two reasons: The first is to protect whoever handles the lobster from the powerful claws. The second is to protect the lobster from other lobsters.
Lobsters are carnivorous and will eat anything that crosses their paths, including another lobster. If the bands were not in place, the lobsters would eat each other while in pounds or holding tanks. One might say that shows that even lobsters think lobster meat is delicious.
Penobscot Bay lobster fishing might still be doing o.k. but a little farther south things are not so great. Nearly 12 million pounds of lobsters were taken out of Long Island Sound each year up to the late 1990s. The catch, though, has dwindled to between 2 million and 3 million pounds annually.
The water of the sound has warmed slightly the last few years but the change is just a little over one degree Fahrenheit. Although some warmer water species seem to be showing population increases in the sound no one is sure that the lobster decline is temperature driven.
Whatever the cause, an increasing number of lobsters are being imported from Canada to supply U.S. demand. In fact, even in New England, a sizeable portion of the lobster served in restaurants is not of U.S. origin.
Now there is another issue rearing its ugly head to confound the lobster gourmet.
Maine and New Hampshire officials are advising consumers not to eat lobster tomalley after tests have shown high levels of toxins in some lobsters.
The Maine Center for Disease Control said Friday that lobster meat is perfectly safe but that people should not eat the tomalley, a soft green substance found in the body of the lobster which is considered a delicacy by some...
High levels of toxic algae known as red tide have been recorded along Maine's coast this summer, forcing the state to close many areas to clam and mussel harvesting.
Tomalley functions as the lobster's liver by serving as a natural filter for contaminants that are in the water, unfortunately the contaminants become concentrated in the tomalley tissue.
People that eat oysters or other shellfish containing red tide toxins may become seriously ill with neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). Once a red tide appears to be over, toxins can remain in the shellfish for weeks to months.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers for some years not to eat tomalley. Now some of the states where the lobsters are caught are joining in with FDA...
First published: 18 Jul 2008, 11:16
When Bjørn Pettersen from Kjeller, 20 kilometres northeast of Oslo, found a bomb in his garden Thursday evening, police evacuated the neighbourhood. Traffic had to be redirected and those who were moved out of their homes were housed for the night at a local indoor sports arena.
Military explosive experts were called to remove the bomb safely. After having been placed in a reinforced bell-shaped container filled with sand and water, it was put on a truck and taken away.
"The actual risk involved may not have been very great, but we weren’t taking any chances," says Tom Danielson, spokesman for the Romerike Police District to news bureau NTB. "It'll be interesting, when we detonate it, to see just how much explosive is in the bomb," adds Danielson.
Pettersen was remodelling his garden with more soil when he found the bomb. "We got some earth from a few hundred metres away. After having tipped it from the dumper truck we discovered a cylinder. When my neighbour carried it behind the garage, he got white phosphorous liquid which smoked on his fingers. Fortunately, he washed it off right away.
White phosphorous warheads are used to start fires, make smoke screens and attack personnel.
Kjeller was a target during World War Two because of its military airfield and German headquarters.
Aftenposten English Web Desk
Bomb defused in Bergen - 05.06.2007
Antique bomb found - 11.01.2007
Bomb experts probe blast - 30.06.2008
Only fireworks behind blast - 31.12.2007
Friday, July 18, 2008
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A judge said Friday that it was legal for Oakland city and elected officials to mislead voters about a 2004 ballot measure that promised to hire police officers, saying that his hands are tied by an appellate court ruling.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said the key factor in deciding whether the city of Oakland should be allowed to continue collecting taxes authorized by Measure Y is the language of the ballot measure itself, not what was said in chapter headings or in election materials distributed to voters.
Marleen Sacks, an attorney who lives in Oakland and filed suit against the city asking that it be forced to return $60 million to its taxpayers, alleging that it has failed to live up to its promise to hire more police officers, said Roesch's ruling "gives any politician a license to lie" to voters to get measures passed.
Roesch said, "I may say it's unjust and I don't like it" but he doesn't know of any legal authority that would allow him to him to rule against the city, based on a ruling by the state Court of Appeals in a similar case.
The city of Oakland's own Web site, in a response to a question about how voters will know that their tax dollars will be spent on hiring more officers, says Measure Y "has several safeguards," including one that "the city will maintain a baseline of 739 police officers in addition to the 63 new officers" authorized by Measure Y, which was approved by city voters in 2004.
Oakland currently has 748 officers, but Sacks says it reached that level only recently and had less than 739 officers for nearly four years, so it shouldn't have been collecting Measure Y taxes.
Roesch said he is bound by the language in the measure itself, which he said "is not ambiguous" in allowing the city to collect Measure Y taxes as long as the money is appropriated for more officers.
The measure doesn't explicitly require that that the additional officers authorized by the measure be hired, Roesch said.
Sacks said outside court that she's disappointed by Roesch's ruling but the main issues in her lawsuit remain intact and will be addressed by Roesch at a full hearing on the merits later this year.
Sacks said one of the remaining key issues is her allegation that the city is in effect "robbing" its citizens by taking $7.7 million from Measure Y and using it for generalized police recruitment.
Read the rest of the story here...
It seems that the judge's ruling begs the point. Are we now to accept that our local and state governmental bodies legally can publish advisories to the voters which are not in agreement with the acts being described?
Meaning that the voters must read the act itself and disregard the analysis published by the agency responsible for informing them of the meaning of the act.
The elected representatives and other employees of the people are legally entitled to lie to and mislead their employers about matters of taxation?
Hell, folks, that's not new. It is just business as usual being interpreted as legal action rather than malfeasance.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Black or white: Choice for many Americans
Published Date: 17 July 2008
By Chris Stephen
A BLACK barber in Charleston, South Carolina, I met during the Democratic primary campaign this year said it best: He told me that for his seven-year-old son, playing a video game at the back of the shop, no amount of affirmative action programmes and special initiatives would convince him he could make it in life so much as the simple fact of seeing a black president in the White House. "That would be the sign," he told me.
This comment explains better than any number of polls and pundits the reason Obama won the black vote, and hence the primaries, by managing a difficult trick: Gaining the support of blacks without losing that of the whites.
But as the presidential election looms into view this racial balancing act poses a newer harsher threat, with a poll for the New York Times and CBS giving stark evidence that the United States is as racially divided as ever.
Blacks may back Obama by margins of more than 80 per cent, but whites go for rival John McCain by 47 per cent to 37 per cent.
Racial tension may not be simmering, but the divide remains wide, a self-imposed apartheid, with the New York Times concluding: "Few Americans have regular contact with people of other races."
When asked whether blacks or whites had a better chance of getting ahead in today's society, 64 per cent of black respondents said that whites did.
Blacks and whites cannot agree even on how bad racism is; 55 per cent of whites insist race relations are good, a view shared by only a quarter of blacks.
To realise just how big a problem Obama's colour is, consider that if he were white, he would be a shoo-in for the presidency. The Bush administration is one of the most catastrophic in US history, with the president's popularity lower than any other White House incumbent since the Second World War.
Any Democrat should be able to walk into the presidency in these circumstances. Instead Obama is grappling with a lead of four to seven points over McCain with one-third of white voters insisting that they don't know enough about Obama to decide if he is good or bad.
Phil Noble, a Democratic Party official and long-time Obama supporter, says Obama's political trajectory can be likened to a white couple agreeing their daughter can date a black, only to throw up their hands in horror when she comes home to announce they are engaged. "Democratic primaries were about inter-racial dating, but the presidential election is about inter-racial marriage," he says.
Few polls ask whites whether they are racist, the reason being that pollsters don't expect a straight answer. But towards the end of the primary season, a fifth of white voters in a couple of states admitted that they do not want a black president in the White House.
Feeding into this insecurity is a nervousness about a man who's chief virtue – his youth and dynamism – is also his chief handicap. Put simply, nobody really knows whether Obama is up to the job.
Americans are used to seeing presidents promising the world only to crumble once in office, unable to make bold choices. The two previous Democrat presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, arrived in the White House promising brave new worlds only to shrink when it came to the tough decisions.
While his rallies are rock-concert uplifting events, his failure to define what he means by his slogan "change" puts you in mind of Tony Blair and his famous "Third Way," a concept that, to this day, he has been unable to define.
To his credit, Obama is striving mightily to articulate that vision. One pledge guaranteed to please is the promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich and spread it among the middle classes.
Another has been his keynote speech this week to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People calling for a culture of victimhood to be replaced by one of "personal responsibility," neatly taking as his own the key mantra of the Republican Party.
But on other fronts some detect signs of what the Republicans call flip-flop, the tendency to change policy with the wind. Having fought a primary campaign promising to pull all troops out of Iraq, Obama now says he will "refine" the plan after talking to generals on the ground.
While on the face of it a prudent move, the suggestion has fuelled concerns that Obama is too new and inexperienced to grapple with what is the most powerful political office on the planet.
What keeps some Democrats awake at night is the thought that, while the electorate might like Obama, when push comes to shove they will go with the devil they know and vote McCain, just as British voters told pollsters they preferred Neil Kinnock in 1992 but at the voting booth decided it was best to stick with John Major.
Noble is more optimistic, saying that while whites might worry about his inexperience and his colour, they may also see him as the embodiment of the American dream: Born to a white mother and black father, he has relatives living in straw huts in Kenya, yet has also won the ultimate establishment accolade of becoming president of the Harvard Law Review.
"It's twice as hard for him because he's unusual, because he's black," says Noble. "It will take longer for a lot of (white) people to get comfortable with him, but that don't mean they won't."
And Noble has statistics on his side. Throughout the primaries, Obama's numbers consistently went up once he had visited a state – once people had got to see him up close and personal.
His lead over McCain may be narrow but, in a highly polarised country, he is ahead in all three states likely to decide the election: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Obama's other asset is his opponent's weakness: On the three subjects that voters say matter the most to them, the economy, healthcare and Iraq, McCain's policies are essentially the same as Bush's, allowing Democratic campaign commercials to trumpet that a McCain presidency means "four more years" of the same.
And his life story has convinced many that there is steel in the Obama bones. "He's had to fight for everything," says New York software developer Elizabeth Mwangi,
Read the rest of the article here...
Monday, July 7, 2008
By: Gabriel Gache, Science News Editor
Material movement inside the core determines fast changes in the strength of the magnetic field of the planet!
It is widely known that the Earth's magnetic field is varying in strength periodically and has reversed poles several hundred times in the past 4.6 billion years, since our planet exists. However, new measurements show that the changes take place much more rapidly than is has been previously predicted, especially in certain regions near the surface where the magnetic field now appears to be weakening fast.
"What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth's magnetic field," said geophysicist Nils Olsen of the Danish National Space Center, co-author of a new study regarding the evolution of the Earth's magnetic field.
The results of the study show that the variations in the Earth's magnetic field are basically simultaneous to changes inside the molten-metal core, since its movement triggers the magnetic field in the first place. As the mass of molten iron and nickel revolves around the central regions of the core, it gives birth to an electric current which, in turn, determines a magnetic field.
The first evidence of dramatic changes in the strength of the magnetic field came in 2003 when scientists detected a considerable strength variation in the Australasian region of the planet, followed a year later by another such event in South Africa.
"This may suggest the possibility of an upcoming reversal of the geomagnetic field," said Mioara Mandea of the German Research Centre for Geosciences, co-author of the study. The complete reversal of the geomagnetic field could take as long as a couple of thousands of years, however it can have significant effects on the short term.
The lowering of the strength of the magnetic field in certain regions of the globe, for example, may have considerable consequences on the numbers of charged sub-atomic particles coming from space and entering the Earth's atmosphere.
"It is in these regions that the shielding effect of the magnetic field is severely reduced, thus allowing high energy particles of the hard radiation belt to penetrate deep into the upper atmosphere to altitudes below a hundred kilometers," Mandea said.
Although such radiation doesn't have a climatic impact on our planet, it can affect electrical and electronic equipment present on board of satellites and airplanes.
The study was only targeted at measuring the rate of the flow of molten material deep inside the Earth's core through continuous measurements taken with the help of satellites in orbit around the planet. "They provide a good rationale to continue this monitoring longer," said Peter Olson of the Johns Hopkins University.
Read original here.