Sunday, December 27, 2009

Neda Soltan is the Times Person of the Year

Neda Soltan was not political. She did not vote in the Iranian presidential election on June 12. The young student was appalled, however, by the way that the regime shamelessly rigged the result and reinstalled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ignoring the pleas of her family, she went with her music teacher eight days later to join a huge opposition demonstration in Tehran.

“Even if a bullet goes through my heart it’s not important,” she told Caspian Makan, her fiancé. “What we’re fighting for is more important. When it comes to taking our stolen rights back we should not hesitate. Everyone is responsible. Each person leaves a footprint in this world.”

Times of London

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Ludwig!

Everybody likes the 4th movement of the 9th Symphony, I like the 2nd.

Read somewhere that listening to the late quartets make the listener more noble.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Allen West: What it takes to win in Afghanistan

Lt. Col. Allen West (US Army, Ret.) speaks to the Center for Security Policy's National Security Group on Capital Hill. Col. West was a senior advisor, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command.

Hoa Hao

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What? Oil isn't a fossil fuel?

Do dead dinosaurs fuel our cars? The assumption that they do, along with other dead matter thought to have formed what are known as fossil fuels, has been an article of faith for centuries. Our geologists are taught fossil fuel theory in our schools; our energy companies search for fossil fuels by divining where the dinosaurs lay down and died. Sooner or later, we will run out of liquefied dinosaurs and be forced to turn to either nuclear or renewable fuels, virtually everyone believes.


Today, Russians laugh at our peak oil theories as they explore, and find, the bounty in the bowels of the Earth. Russia’s reserves have been climbing steadily — according to BP’s annual survey, they stood at 45 billion barrels in 2001, 69 billion barrels in 2004, and 80 billion barrels of late, making Russia an oil superpower that this year produced more oil than Saudi Arabia. Some oil auditing firms estimate Russia’s reserves at up to 200 billion barrels. Despite Russia’s success in exploration, most of those in the west who have known about the Russian-Ukrainian theories have dismissed them as beyond the Pale. This week, the Russian Pale can be found awfully close to home.

In a study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden and the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington joined colleagues at the Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology in publishing evidence that hydrocarbons can be produced 40 to 95 miles beneath the surface of the Earth. At these depths — in what’s known as Earth’s Upper Mantle — high temperatures and intense pressures combine to generate hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons then migrate toward the surface of the Earth through fissures in the Earth’s crust, sometimes feeding existing pools of oil, sometimes creating entirely new ones. According to Sweden’s Royal Institute, “fossils of animals and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas. This result is extremely radical as it means that it will be much easier to find these energy sources and that they may be located all over the world.”


The Nature study follows Kutcherov’s previous work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that created hydrocarbons out of water, calcium carbonate and iron — products in the Earth’s mantle. By superheating his ingredients in a pressure chamber at 30,000 times atmospheric pressure, simulating the conditions in the Earth’s mantle, Kutcherov’s alchemy converted 1.5% of his concoction into hydrocarbons — gases such as methane as well as components of heavier oils. The implication of this research, which suggests that hydrocarbons are continuously generated through natural processes? Petroleum is a sustainable resource that will last as long as Planet Earth.

Energy Probe

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's get Christine a van!

A Story of Survival
By Christine Kent

On August 4th, 2007, I was the victim of a horrible crime that has left me changed forever. On that date, I was attacked by a stalker at my home in Oakland Park, FL. Allan Sinclair IV, a man I had considered to be just an acquaintance, had become obsessed with me when I did not want to be his girlfriend. I politely rebuffed his advances and told him that we could only be friends. After not seeing Sinclair for three years, he showed up at my house and said that he was in the area and thought that he’d stop by to say hello. He wanted what he couldn’t have, and put a gun to the back of my head. I spoke to him about God and told him that he needed to let me go. When I fled for my life, he shot me twice. One of the bullets obliterated the T-12 section of my spine, which paralyzed me. I lay in the gravel conscious beside my driveway as Sinclair ran over me with his SUV and turned the tire while on top of my abdomen, further shattering my body. He fled the scene and I desperately screamed for help, but no one came. My neighbor’s phoned the police when they heard the shots fired, but they were too afraid to come to my aid. I was shocked to find that my attacker came back within minutes in an attempt to hide me from view. He grabbed me by the ankles and dragged me across the driveway, leaving me behind the hedges. Being left there to die, I prayed for my life and to be saved while waiting to be rescued. I survived by a miracle, by the grace of God.

Fortunately this dangerous man was apprehended the very next day. Sinclair pled Guilty to Attempted Rape and Attempted Murder First Degree on Oct.2, 2009 and was sentenced to Life without the possibility of parole. Now I have some closure and peace of mind knowing that he’ll never get out, to hurt me or anyone else again. The Doctors confirmed that the injuries to my spine are so severe that I’ll never walk again. Having spent over six months in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, I am so grateful to be back in my own home. I try to remain positive despite my pain and disability, believing that everyday is a gift and life is a blessing. Sheer will, determination and support helps to keep me pushing forward. I want to make the most of my life and be an inspiration to others as well, striving to make a difference where I can.

I wish so much to be independent again and look forward to progressing in my recovery. However, the costs associated with my injuries are quite high and involve everything from home modifications to medical related. I’m also hoping to save for a handicapped accessible van as well. Could you please help?

To assist with my injury related expenses, a fundraising campaign has been established with the Catastrophic Injury Program of the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF). NTAF is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the transplant and catastrophic injury community for 25 years. All contributions are tax-deductible and are administered for injury-related expenses only.
If you wish to make a donation:

Make check payable to: NTAF Southeast Spinal Cord Injury Fund
Write on check memo line: in honor of Christine Kent
Mail to: NTAF
150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120
Radnor, PA 19087

To use a credit card, please visit and type “Kent” into the yellow box on the left or call 800-642-8399. My newspaper reports and videos can be viewed on this website.

Thank you for your prayers, support and donations.

A pedal-operated butter churn

The concept:
"I want to build a pedal-operated machine that churns butter and powers a toaster. It's basically a modified bicycle that attaches directly to an old hand-crank butter churn. It also charges a battery that is hooked to a power converter so I can plug in a toaster."
the Arianna Huffington of the local foods movement

Universities take action on Climategate

The Obama administration might think Climategate is a nonevent, but on Monday, Pennsylvania State University announced it was launching an investigation into the academic conduct of Michael Mann, director of the school's Earth System Science Center. Yesterday, it was announced that Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, would step aside while his university conducts an investigation. With so much fraud being exposed in the academic community that studies and promotes global-warming theories, an example has to be made of someone.

There are dozens of researchers at other institutions involved in this scandal surrounding leaked e-mails that discuss covering up evidence of global cooling and destroying research that discounts global warming. For example, in the United States, the National Center for Atmospheric Research is in the thick of the e-mail chain.

Mr. Mann is front and center in the debate over what constitutes unethical research. In the current controversy, he is named in about 270 of the more than 1,000 leaked e-mails, many of which detail disturbing and improper academic behavior. On Monday, he told the Penn State student newspaper that the controversy over the leaked e-mails was simply part of a systematic smear campaign to prevent climate researchers from doing their work and that the leaks were timed to derail next week's climate summit.

The evidence suggests that his troubles were not created by a smear campaign but are the result of his own shenanigans.....
....the rest of the article