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Thread: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

  1. #36
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    Default iPhone recorded people's locations for a year....

    DAVIES: How might law enforcement be changed by this technology?

    Mr. CHEN: What some police officers are doing is they're testing this application called Morris. Morris is an application that enables police officers to scan fingerprints of suspects and also scan their eyeballs and cross-reference that information with the database that they have back at the police station.

    And this is pretty remarkable when you consider that this entire process usually takes a police officer about, you know, like maybe seven hours just to book a suspect and run all the tests, you know, drive them to the station. But now that they can do this on their smartphones, it could help them make a lot more, I think, arrests that are accurate in the future. And there's only a few stations testing this application right now and it costs $30,000. So it's unlikely we're going to see it anytime soon like in every single police officer's hands, but it's something that we're working on to reduce costs and potentially streamline law enforcement a lot.

    DAVIES: We're speaking with Brian Chen. He is a columnist for Wired.com and the author of the new book "Always On."

    Now a lot of the book talks about some of the amazing possibilities that this technologies represent. But you also note that we're talking about technology, hardware and software that are run by huge corporations - you know, Apple, Google, you know, Verizon, AT&T. What concerns do you have that these corporations will exercise that power in a way that presents challenges or should concern us?

    Mr. CHEN: The current concerns that I have is that there's so much going on under the hood of these smartphones. These smartphones are made to run so automatically so we don't need to take care of anything. We don't need to customize applications, they kind of just go.

    And while that's a very good benefit for us, we also have this lack of control or this lack of knowledge or this lack of assurance that these people are using our data in a responsible way. And by people I mean third-party companies that make a lot of money off information. So besides companies like Google and AT&T and Apple, I look at companies that are third-party software companies.

    Like one example I use in the book is a company called EchoMetrix. EchoMetrix is a company that sold some parental control software, so software for parents to monitor what their children were doing with their computers. And it turned out what was interesting was that not only was this parental control software, this software was basically a data mining software utility for the company to be able to spy on the children's chat conversations and instant messages to be able to determine marketing trends. They were selling this information, this children's information to marketing companies about say, you know, iPods are more trendy than BlackBerrys. Or they were also able to predict the winner of "American Idol," which is kind of challenging because the "American Idol" voting system is so crazy.

    (Soundbite of laughter)

    Mr. CHEN: You can vote as many times as you want in that. And they actually predicted that the underdog would win one year, it was a man named Chris Allen in 2009.

    DAVIES: And they did this because in effect embedded software was collecting information from kids that nobody knew about and then they were using this and...

    Mr. CHEN: And they were selling this information.

    DAVIES: Yeah.

    Mr. CHEN: So, of course, it's a - these are my concerns that a company is saying they're doing something for you but they're also they're doing something that they're not telling you about. And this is definitely a concern going forward with the smartphones now that they have more powerful sensors that can detect where you are but they're constantly transmitting and collecting information. For example, the application Pandora is a music streaming application and they were collecting information about where we were and broadcasting it to a marketing company too. And they have no business doing that. They're providing me a music streaming service.

    So I think going forward, you know, privacy is something that we've thrown out the window already. We've already given up on the modern textbook definition or the dictionary definition of privacy, which is an area of seclusion, and the new form of privacy is - I want to be able to know what these companies are doing with my information. I want to be able to know that they're using my data in a right way because, of course, we had to give them some information for them to give us some personalized services. I mean is the exchange a fair trade? Are they giving us the right services? Are they using the right information to give us the right services?

    And what was difficult about writing a book about technology is that you got a moving target here. And a lot of predictions I made about privacy came true after I turned in the manuscript actually, like say, you know, the iPhone location tracking bug that caused a media furor just maybe two months ago. It was basically a glitch inside the iPhone. It was collecting information about where we've been for the past for the past year. It wasn't precisely where we were but information about nearby cell phone towers and Wi-Fi access points that enabled somebody, just anybody to triangulate where you've been for the past year or so.

    DAVIES: Right. And this information was stored essentially indefinitely in the iPhone and didn't need to be, right?

    Mr. CHEN: Yeah. Right.

    DAVIES: Right.

    MCCARTHY: Exactly. So that was an example of Apple. And I'm more concerned about third-party companies living on the smartphone platforms. Like say, you know, software maker is selling applications through the App Store. There are 400,000 apps right now and Apple is trying to enforce privacy rules and say, you know, you can't share a person's information if you're not providing a location service. But how can one company, a single point of control really regulate 400,000 different applications out there? They've already missed a few. And I think we need some new laws. We need some new privacy policies and just some way to regulate what's happening right now because the laws are completely out of date. We may need tracking computers that aren't geo-aware and so forth.

    DAVIES: Do you ever unplug completely? I mean for an evening, for a weekend, for a week?

    Mr. CHEN: Definitely. You know, the title of the book is "Always On" and I think some people took it a little literally. And I didn't mean that people are constantly on the Internet, because when we're asleep were obviously, you know, we're not on the Internet. But we're just plugged into a global community and we're just always going to be part of it once we plug in.

    But I unplug all the time. I, you know, when I go to exercise that night I don't bring my smartphone with me to the gym even though a lot of people do, you know, they listen to music. But I try to get away from a screen. And the weekends I'll say, you know, I'll go hiking and, of course, I have no cellular access on the mountain to go to check my email, so I'm a pretty active person still even though I spend the majority of my time plugged in. So definitely it's a good idea that I get unplugged every now and then.

    DAVIES: Well, Brian Chen, thanks so much.

    Mr. CHEN: Hey, thank you, Dave.

    DAVIES: Brian Chen writes for Wired.com. His new book is called "Always On."



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  2. #37
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    Default Journey into the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes....

    NED ROZELL
    ALASKA SCIENCE
    Published: July 16th, 2011 04:20 PM
    Last Modified: July 16th, 2011 04:49 PM

    One hundred years after the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is still a moonscape of ash and volcanic rock, without a tree or shrub in sight. The valley, located on the Alaska Peninsula where the Aleutians hook on to mainland Alaska, is a silent reminder of the power and potential of Alaska's volcanoes.



    I once visited the valley as one of a dozen people on a 10-day field trip with John Eichelberger, who then worked at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

    As we approached the valley the first day on a bus ride from Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park, the story of the 1912 Katmai eruption began to unfold.

    A few miles before we reached the valley, we saw the skeletons of spruce trees, bone white and surrounded by green bushes. The trees have been standing dead since early June 1912, when falling ash killed them.

    Getting off the bus and hiking into the valley, we left Alaska for another world.

    As we walked deeper into the valley on rounded rocks that felt like styrofoam balls, the willows disappeared, the sparrows stopped singing, and the mosquitoes vanished. A grizzly bear had pressed a few tracks into the valley floor, but we saw no other signs of life.

    Botanist Robert Griggs named this desolate, beautiful place "The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes" when he visited here on a National Geographic expedition in 1916. At the time, four years after the eruption, steam poured from vents all over the valley.

    Because the thick blanket of ash and volcanic rock has cooled since then, the valley no longer steams, but the dramatic landforms still inspire the feelings of Griggs and his companions in 1916. "We were overawed," he wrote.

    In three days of the summer of 1912, a volcano Griggs named Novarupta (Latin for "new vent,") transformed 40 square miles of the world's best bear habitat into instant badlands, burying the downwind valley in more than 500 feet of ash and volcanic rock.

    Novarupta spewed 100 times more material than Mount St. Helens and sent skyward a plume that probably reached 20 miles high.

    Sometime during the eruption, Mount Katmai, six miles from Novarupta, was decapitated.

    In place of its summit today is a magnificent crater lake surrounded by 300-foot walls that echo the thunder of glaciers that now calve into lake.

    When Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia ejected half as much ash and rock in 1883, 35,000 people died.

    Because earthquakes that preceded Novarupta's eruption scared residents of two nearby villages from the area, Novarupta's human death toll was zero.

    More than one foot of ash fell on Kodiak, 100 miles away from Novarupta, in the days following the eruption. Roofs collapsed under the weight of the ash and the steady gray ashfall prevented townsfolk from seeing a lantern held at arm's length at times.

    In his report for the National Geographic Society, Griggs wrote that if such an eruption occurred on Manhattan Island, those in Chicago could hear the explosions, Philadelphia residents would be buried under one foot of ash, and fumes from the eruption would tarnish brass doorknobs in Denver. On Manhattan Island, "there would be no survivors," Griggs wrote.

    Much to the relief of the locals in both places, Alaska is not Manhattan; Alaska is a place with more than 100 volcanoes, 42 of which have erupted since people began writing down such observations in 1767.

    Today, the Alaskans who keep the closest eye on volcanoes work for the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Scientists there take the pulse of the most active volcanoes in Alaska with networks of seismometers that detect earthquakes within volcanoes.

    They also check out satellite images each day, looking for ash plumes or increases in temperature on volcano surfaces that indicate activity, perhaps someday as dramatic as the eruption that created the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

    Ned Rozell is a science writer at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. He can be reached by email at nrozell@gi.alaska.edu. A version of this column first appeared in 2001.
    Last edited by Spin_Drift; 07-17-2011 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Added writer's credit.
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  3. #38
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    Default Gold Price Hits New Record......

    Gold Price Hits New Record
    By ALAN FARNHAMYesterday, 5:50 PM



    Strong demand for gold drove prices for the precious metal to record highs today, even as stocks sank and Washington remained mired in debate over what to do about the nation's debt ceiling.

    The price of gold is being driven up by the debt deadlock in Washington, said one expert.

    "Investor confidence isn't there," says Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner of Meridian Equity Partners in New York City. "People are looking at the debt debate and not getting any new information. What we're seeing is impatience, I think. It's time for the politicians to put party aside and find some sort of resolution."

    Uncertainty, he says, is always bad for markets. "Investors flee the market when there's uncertainty." Their move into gold is "the same thing as if they were putting their money underneath their mattress."

    As for traders, the same holds true, Corpina thinks. "Volatility is high right now. They'll wait to get back into the market until they get more information."

    Though today's price per ounce closed at $1,602.40, an all time high, Corpina says gold's price "will continue that way" until Washington resolves its crisis.

    He said traders are also spooked by unemployment, which Corpina calls "all-important." Despite the government's stimulus efforts, "We haven't seen the unemployment numbers move in the direction we want."

    People turning to gold, he thinks, are doing the right thing.

    "You need to have a balanced portfolio," and having some of your money in gold is a way to diversify. Plus, gold always has had the status as a safe haven.

    "It's one of the safest bets out there. The value has always been there. On Main Street, people see its value rising higher. They're no longer sure that cash is their safest bet," Corpina said.

    Investor confidence, he predicts, will return. "It'll be back, but only after this debt debate has been resolved." For now, though, "It's a cloud hanging over us."
    Last edited by Spin_Drift; 07-19-2011 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Added picture
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  4. #39
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    Default Bush police target home-brew ingredients....

    Owning yeast and sugar isn't enough to get you arrested in most places. But in some communities of rural Alaska, the high rate of alcohol abuse has caused voters to ban booze along with possession of the supplies to make it.

    A recent case highlights a 2007 state law that makes it illegal for a person to possess yeast and sugar in a local option community if they intend to use the ingredients to make home-brew, a cloudy, intoxicating liquid often mixed with fruit juice. Villages have the option to ban booze as one way to combat to a longstanding epidemic of alcohol-related injuries and deaths in rural Alaska.

    According to court records, a village public safety officer in Hooper Bay on the Bering Sea coast arrested Gerald Hunt, 42, June 30 for possession of homebrew ingredients.

    Sgt. James Hoelscher went to Hunt's home for an unrelated matter, but once inside, he had reason to believe Hunt was hiding something. In a recent phone interview, Hoelscher wouldn't say what raised his suspicions, but it was enough that he applied for a search warrant.

    Hoelscher wrote in court papers that he returned to Hunt's house with the warrant and seized about 7 pounds of yeast, a pound of sugar and three juice containers filled with a liquid that tested positive for alcohol.

    Hunt said he'd gotten the brew elsewhere. And he said he was going to bake bread, the court document says.

    Hoelscher apparently didn't believe him and arrested the man.

    Hunt's assertion that he was a baker is a common answer, said Lt. Christopher Thompson, who heads the Alaska State Troopers' Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team.

    "We'll ask the questions, 'How much yeast does it take to bake a loaf of bread,' and you'll get an answer like, 'Oh, a cup,' " Thompson said. "I mean, it takes like a tablespoon, so that makes no sense."

    "These cases, it's not criminal masterminds," he said.

    At last count, there were 34 communities in Alaska that had voted to ban the possession, sale, importation and manufacturing of alcohol, Thompson said.

    State law says that local option also makes it a misdemeanor offense to possess yeast and sugar in pound quantities with intent to make alcohol.

    The key is proving what the person intends to do with the ingredients, said Bethel District Attorney June Stein. The amount of yeast is one indication, she said.

    "There's only one thing to do with 7 pounds of yeast. Well, two things. You could either feed an army or make homebrew," Stein said.

    It's not a charge that Stein has seen come across her desk very often, she said.

    "I would say that it is not that common, because usually the officers don't find out about it until after they've made it," Stein said. "And the reason they find out about it is because something bad happens."

    Most home-brew cases start with a more serious alcohol-related report -- domestic violence, assault, suicide, even homicide -- that leads officers to a batch of home-brew already imbibed. And that means two felony charges, manufacturing and distributing the drink, rather than the lesser charge of simply possessing the ingredients to make home-brew.

    Simply put, if the booze is already there, it's too late, said Hoelscher, the village safety officer.

    "We hope to stop or prevent and hinder people from committing felonies by manufacturing and selling home-brew, because as everybody is much aware, alcohol is the bane of Western Alaska and it has caused more deaths and heartbreak than anything I can imagine," Hoelscher said.

    In most cases, the authorities find the yeast as it's being shipped from hub cities, Thompson said.

    A grocery store manager in Anchorage might call alcohol investigators if someone buys a lot of yeast and the manager suspects it's being sent to a village, Thompson said. As in many bootlegging arrests, investigators sometimes find the yeast packed in someone's luggage or their mail bound for the Bush, he said.

    "Oftentimes we find these cases when a postal package is leaking yeast," Thompson said. "In fact, we had one recently in Nome just like that, where it's a parcel with yeast where one of the bags inside burst and there's yeast spilling out of the seams of the box."

    Controlling the ingredients for home-brew in villages is similar to the effort to control the sale of ingredients used to cook methamphetemine, Thompson said.

    Federal and state laws limit an individual's purchase of pseudoephedrine -- a key ingredient in meth known by its brand name, Sudafed -- and mandate that stores must keep it locked up.

    Similarly, yeast is often locked up behind a village storekeeper's counter, along with mouthwash, vanilla extract and hair products, all of which a person can use to get high or drunk.

    "You kind of get control over those items, and you can curb it is the logic," Thompson said.

    The investigator admitted that the law banning the possession of yeast and sugar was unique to Alaska.

    "You talk to law enforcement folks in other states, and they just shake their heads," Thompson said. "It's a rarity. But those communities in Alaska have decided it."

    Nine out of 10 crimes in Hooper Bay are alcohol related, explained Hoelscher, the Hooper Bay public safety officer. Hoelscher said he moved to the village when he was 12, his wife was born there, and so were his six kids.

    "It is a personal goal of mine to slow down the rate of alcohol in Hooper Bay," Hoelscher said. "I not only want a better community because it's my home, but I want a better place for my children. I mean, who doesn't?"

    Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.
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    Default Guide's 50th summiting of McKinley probably a record....

    Vern Tejas logged his 50th summit of Mount McKinley this summer, prompting an obvious question: Does that make him the ruler of North America's highest roost?Not so apparent is the answer.Officials with the National Park Service don't know if anyone has been to the top of McKinley more often than Tejas, because they didn't begin tracking summits until 1995. They think Tejas, who boasts numerous claims to fame gained in the Alaska Range and beyond, probably owns the record for the most McKinley summits."In terms of everyone's impression here, we're confident Vern has the most summits," said Maureen McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service in Talkeetna. "We have no way of verifying (it), but we have no reason not to believe it."But check with Dave Staeheli and Scott Woolums to be sure, McLaughlin and Denali mountain ranger Roger Robinson said. Both are longtime guides on the 20,320-foot mountain and both have reached the summit dozens of times.Staeheli, 56, was off on a dipnetting trip and couldn't be reached. But Mountain Trip, the Colorado mountaineering company he works for, said Staeheli doesn't know anyway."I just talked to Dave Staeheli about that and he said he stopped counting somewhere after 20 summits many years ago," Mountain Trip owner Bill Allen said in an email. "He decided that he didn't want his decisions as a guide on Denali to be driven by getting his personal summit count up."Woolums, 53, recently returned to his home in Oregon after scaling Mount Everest for the sixth time as a guide for Adventures International. He said he thinks he has 31 or 32 summits of McKinley, where he worked as a guide from 1980 to 2009. He's nowhere close to 50 summits."That's a lot," he said in a phone interview. "Are you sure that's summits, not expeditions?"It's summits, according to Tejas, a guide for Alpine Ascents who last week was headed to an expedition on Russia's Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.Tejas, 58, said his first two McKinley summits came in 1978, one as a client and one as a guide. An impressive -- but not unprecedented -- four summits came in 1988, when Tejas became the first person to complete a solo climb of the mountain in the winter. No. 50 came June 30, when he was the guide of an eight-person team that made it to the summit."Mt. Vinson in Antarctica would be my next most climbed mountain, however it's not even close to Denali at a mere 27 summits," Tejas wrote in an email from St. Petersburg.Robinson, the park service ranger, is an unofficial Denali historian who likes to keep track of who's been to the summit the most. But it isn't an easy task, he said."I know most of these folks keep it pretty close -- they don't like to let you know, and Vern hasn't wanted to let us know," he said.For many years, Ray Genet -- the Swiss climber who all but invented guiding on Denali -- had the most summits. Genet, who froze to death while descending Everest in 1979, earned a spot in Alaska history in 1967 when he was part of a three-man team that was the first to reach McKinley's summit in winter."Ray Genet had the record for a long time," Robinson said. "I went through (records) and counted and I came up with 26 summits, and he was only guiding here for 10 years -- not very long. Some of these other guys have been here 30 years."Talkeetna's Brian Okonek guided on McKinley from 1979 to 2000 and estimates he made it to the summit 25 times. He thinks 50 summits is an impressive feat for a couple reasons."Just the fact that his body has held up that long, because that's not the only summit he's been up," Okonek said. "It's remarkable not only that Vern has summited that many times, but that he's guided so many times."Guiding is more demanding than climbing without clients, Okonek said, because a guide climbs at a client's pace rather than his own and spends more time working with other people and managing risk than if he wasn't climbing with clients.What's more, McKinley's climbing season only lasts about two months and most climbs take several days.In 1988, Tejas made it to the top of McKinley four times, an achievement that began in March when he became the first person to make a successful solo winter ascent of the mountain. "My endless winter," Tejas calls it.Woolums said he once recorded four summits in a single year too."I did an April trip and another trip and then I did the Cassin Ridge kind of just for fun and I did it really quick -- three and a half days. Then I made one more trip toward the end of the season," he said. Between two of the climbs, Woolums said, he dropped to 8,000 feet rather than returning to the 7,200-foot base camp at Kahiltna Glacier.Woolums doesn't guide on McKinley anymore, choosing instead to spend his time on Everest and on his latest pursuit -- climbing the highest volcanic summit on each of the seven continents.Tejas also continues to pursue adventures outside Alaska, but nothing inspires him like McKinley."Denali is the most beautiful mountain in the world," he wrote, "and I want to climb it as long as I can -- 65 summits when I am 65 sounds great to me. A nice round number."
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Something I'd screwed up here. All of a sudden, today, I'm not able to see any advance links to post a picture, no matter how I try to find the links. Posting also runs all the paragraphs into one. I'm posting from iPhone, and that's nothing new. I couldn't find anything that would say that I was using a mobile "site". Why???
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    Default Texas Mans $16 Property Seizure Throws Obscure Law Into Spotlight...

    A Texas man who reportedly claimed a $300,000 home for $16 through an obscure legal maneuver known as "adverse possession" is drawing attention to a practice that isn't new and isn't limited to the Lone Star State, but could become more popular with a housing market still flat on its back.Adverse possession, which allows individuals to take property considered "abandoned," has been around since the 1800s with its origins in British common law and to this day, all 50 states have statutory provisions on their books covering the concept.It was originally used as a way to deal with the boundaries of farmlands that weren't always clear. For example, if a homeowner put up a fence that encroached on a neighbor's property, the homeowner could claim the territory after a period of time if there was no objection."It's kind of a quirky doctrine -- a common-law doctrine designed to acknowledge that if you got possession of a property and no one's been challenging it, you should have some type of title to it," said Larry Morandi, director of state policy research for the National Conference of State Legislatures.But the concept has evolved, leading to abuses and extraordinary cases.In Texas, Kenneth Robinson moved last month into a foreclosed home worth $330,000 after he paid a $16 filing fee at the local courthouse, WFAA-TV in Dallas reported. If Robinson stays in the house for three years, he can obtain the title and become the legal owner. In other states, it can take as long as 20 years to become eligible for legal ownership.Robinson told the local news outlet that the original owner would have to pay off a massive mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a complex lawsuit to get him out the house -- a scenario he said he views as unlikely.After outraged neighbors asked police to arrest him for breaking and entering, Robinson posted "no trespassing" signs, the station reported, adding that officers said he can't be removed from the house because it's a civil matter, not a criminal one.Real estate attorneys told FoxNews.com that the practice will become more widespread as foreclosures continue to flood the housing market amid a sluggish economic recovery."It's going to be a trend that going to grow more and more," real estate attorney Gennady Litvin said. "We haven't seen the bottom of the real estate market yet."Meister noted that in Florida, some people began forming companies to seize properties on a large-scale basis through adverse possession and rent out the houses. Some were arrested on felony charges."People are using this as a sword, not a shield," real estate attorney Stephen Meister said.But some state governments are cracking down in an attempt to discourage abuse of the practice.Just this year alone 11 states, including Texas, have considered bills to clarify, amend, or abolish adverse possession, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. *Of the 11, only Florida and Washington state have passed laws tightening the requirements for claiming property through adverse possession. Bills to abolish the concept failed in Alabama, Missouri and Virginia and ones to amend it died in Connecticut, Maine and Texas. Bills are still pending in New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania.Colorado became the poster boy for adverse possession reform in 2008 after there was a public outcry over a couple losing a third of their land to their neighbors, an ex-judge and an attorney, preventing them from building their retirement home.*The state passed a law amending the concept, which takes 18 years for property to be legally claimed. The new law, which didn't apply to the couple, put the burden of proving ownership on adverse possessors and gives judges the power to force them to compensate the original owners for back property taxes and interest.The attorneys said there are many aspects to adverse possession and they vary from state to state. For example, adverse possessors typically have to occupy the land anywhere from seven to 20 years, depending upon the state, before they can make a claim. But as long as it's in the open, it's not a crime. Adverse possessors can even register the bills in their name and notify the bank, previous homeowner or neighbors of their intent."You're not just putting the flag up in the middle of the house and saying it's mine," Litvin said. "You've got to live life in the normal, everyday way. If you're there and nobody knows you're there, you're breaking and entering."
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  8. #43
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Help anyone... Posting from iPhone and the forum makes all paragraphs into one long paragraph. Even if I Re-edit and space the paragraphs as they're supposed to be, when posting it all becomes a "spaceless" story. Why ?
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Hopefully this is coming with proper paragraphs. I was told, if I post as "quick reply", the paragraphs will be okay. This is different and interesting story of an Idaho couple who employ sonar to locate drowning victims. (SAM FRIEDMAN Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via The Associated Press) 07/24/2011 9:46 PM FAIRBANKS -- Within 15 minutes of starting their search of Harding Lake, two volunteers from Idaho spotted the body of a drowning victim that had eluded searchers for almost two weeks. The secret to their success: an underwater imaging technology these volunteers have brought twice to Harding Lake and four times to Alaska.The technology is called side-scanning sonar. It's not a lifesaving tool, but can help give closure to families of drowning victims classified as "missing."In Alaska, it is not unusual for the bodies of drowning victims to go unrecovered. Out of 162 recreational boating deaths in the last decade, bodies were not recovered in at least 34 cases, according to the State Office of Boating.Gene and Sandy Ralston, the couple who found the body of Patrick Hunsberger last week, have been volunteering to recover bodies since 1983, when they helped find a body on the surface of a lake and received a moving thank-you note from the family of the victim."That really brought it home," Gene said. "It's the kind of thing you don't think is ever going to happen to your family. When it does, people are left helpless. But there are resources available."They were inspired to work as volunteers after seeing a company without any real expertise extort as much as $30,000 from a grieving family for a body search. The Ralstons ask for their travel costs to be reimbursed but do not charge for their time or the use of their equipment. Some law enforcement agencies in the Lower 48 have side-scanning sonar, but the equipment generally has to stay in the jurisdiction it where it was purchased.Now semi-retired from their work as environmental scientists, the Ralstons bought their side-scanning sonar in 2001 and have gone to assist between eight and 18 body recoveries per year in recent years. Their work has included helping the FBI find homicide victims and long road trips to help with body recoveries in Juneau and Newfoundland.The side-scanning sonar device looks like a 6-foot-long torpedo that maps the area below as it is dragged behind a boat. It works best in calm water because movement distorts the image. The device costs about $22,000 for a standard model, but a customized one like the Ralstons use is more expensive. In 2005, the Ralstons added another vehicle, a remote-operated submarine that is about the size of a desk chair that can recover bodies in addition to finding them.The Ralstons came to Fairbanks in 2007 when the Tanana Chiefs Conference asked for help finding three young people who died in a canoe accident on Harding Lake. It took more than a month to find all three. After the recovery, the couple named their boat after Kathy Garrigan, the final victim to be found.This year's search also came at the request of the Tanana Chiefs. Patrick Hunsberger, 25, had been missing since he went jet-skiing by himself July 4 and never returned.A volunteer effort had been searching every day since three days after the accident when an official search was called off.The instantaneous success of the side-scanning sonar after the Ralstons arrived was something of a fluke. The Ralstons had planned to spend a month searching the six square miles of lake but happened to see Hunsberger's body in their first sweep across the lake. They passed directly over it in their second sweep."We were speechless because it was so quick," Gene Ralston said. "There must have been some divine guidance."By another coincidence, they found Hunsberger's body about 300 feet away from where they found Travis Alexander, another victim of the 2007 canoe accident.A memorial service for Hunsberger was held Friday.After the recovery, the Ralsons did a demonstration of their tools in the Lathrop High School pool for the Tanana Chiefs Conference and Alaska State Troopers.Of the two technologies, the remote- operated vehicle has better prospects as a law enforcement tool because it does not require as much training to use and might prove useful in uncovering evidence in places where it's too dangerous to send a diver, trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. But it's tough to say whether troopers will eventually move to request funding for either.In general, troopers try to recover the bodies of drowning victims but are not able to continue searches indefinitely when there is no evidence for where the body may be, Ipsen said. They often are assisted by volunteer groups with specialized skills like the Ralstons, mountain search and rescue teams and search dogs.
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    Default All that glitters is indeed gold for patient prospector....

    It didn't work so this time I put three bullets where the new paragraph starts. Hopefully it wil make taxing this easier.••••••••••••••••••All that glitters is indeed gold for patient prospector•••••••••••As gold fever goes, Tom Cooper's case was fairly low grade.•••For the first few decades of his life in Alaska he was interested in going looking for it. But other things took priority -- family, work and hunting for other treasures that are more easily and reliably found, like agates, crystals and the antlers and sheep horns he carves and sells.•••When Cooper finally did start prospecting in 2005, making an annual summer trip to Clark-Wiltz's recreational mining operation at Ganes Creek 25 miles west of McGrath, using a metal detector to comb through the thousands of acres of tailings piles left by bucket-line dredges and bulldozer operations of the past, he contented himself with modest results.•••"I told myself I'd rather get a little nugget a day than one big one all week," said Cooper, who runs the Alaska Horn and Antler shop in Sterling.•••Still, Cooper's temperature would spike at the sight of fellow prospectors unearthing grape-sized, glittering nuggets from the churned-up dirt, especially if it was a patch of dirt he had just left.•••He'd find himself rushing ahead of his fellow gold seekers in the field to get first crack at a freshly bulldozed mound of tailings. If a daylong gold hunt was a bust, he'd just as soon skip dinner to keep prowling the field.•••While his head whirred with strategies and estimations of likely productive locations, Cooper would will his metal detector to give off a strong, solid signal to tell him where to dig in search of a heavy, shiny hunk of gold.•••July 1 was the last day of Cooper's trip to Ganes Creek this year. He had stayed in the field until 11:30 the night before, determined not to go back to camp empty-handed, and finding only a ladybug-sized flake for his 14-plus hours in the field.•••An hour into the next morning's search, his detector blared at him. It's a sound that quickens the pulse but also frustrates when it's caused by a simple bullet shell or a shard of shrapnel from old airplane wreckage.•••"It was a huge signal. It sounded just like a pop can, which is real common," Cooper said. "It was buried 2 to 3 feet. They sound so good, and they're always such a pain to dig. You end up with a lot of bullet shells, lots of old watch cases, electrical copper pieces, aluminum off a piece of machinery. There's an old crashed airplane up there, so there's lots of pieces of aluminum on the runway."•••He shoveled down, running the detector over his tailings and over the deepening hole to make sure he didn't miss whatever was causing the signal.•••"I just dug down and checked for the signal again, and it was still just blaring at me so I dug some more," Cooper said. "And then, all of a sudden, it was just lying there. It was a really round, well-worn rock. It didn't look like the bedrock."•••He stooped over the hole, his green-plaid shirt and white fly-away hair tenting out like a curtain around him, peering over his glasses.•••"I picked it up, and as soon as I touched it, I knew it. I knew it was gold, no doubt," he said.•••As Cooper hefted the flat, smooth chunk that nestled perfectly in his palm, his simmering fever boiled over.•••"I whooped and hollered and jumped up and down and did a little dance. I practically threw my detector off to the side," Cooper said.•••The nearest prospector in earshot teased Cooper back at camp that night for "screaming like a little girl."•••"I did," Cooper admits. "When I finally realized what it was I went 'Wahoo' and started jumping up and down. He said, 'That's not a nugget.' I said, 'Oh yeah?' and I threw it at him. It landed right in front of him, and he grabbed it and said, 'Oh, my God.' "•••Cooper didn't have a scale in the field, and decided he couldn't wait for the shuttle to return the prospectors to camp for dinner.•••"The day had just started, and I said, 'That's it, I'm done, I'm going back to camp,' " Cooper said. "They said, 'What? You're doing what?' I said, 'How can I beat this?' You just can't. It's 5.5 miles back to camp, and I had to stop myself from running."•••The entire hike was filled with Cooper estimating the nugget's weight.•••"I was sure it was 5 or 6 ounces. I was hoping it was 8. On the way back I kept saying, '5 or 6, if it's 8 that'd be great. Five or 6, 8 would be great,' like I was willing it to be 8," Cooper said.•••Back in camp, the nugget got an eye-popping response from the mine operators.•••Not only is the nugget big, but it is nearly solid gold. Many of the nuggets found at Ganes Creek, especially the larger ones, are gnarled, pockmarked conglomerations of gold and quartz. That doesn't hurt the value, but it lessens the wow factor that a smooth, shiny, solid-gold nugget presents.•••"This one is so smooth it almost looks like it was cast," Cooper said.•••They put the nugget on the scale. Eight would indeed be great, but this was even better.•••"It was 10.64 ounces. I was just ecstatic. Just having a hold of it was a thrill enough, and then to get one that big in that kind of condition, I just couldn't believe it," Cooper said.•••Gold prices have been leapfrogging since 2006, with new highs set and soon surpassed. In June, the spot price for gold reached a record $1,549 per ounce. At that price, Cooper's nugget is worth $16,481.•••But larger nuggets sell for more, and Cooper has been told his could fetch as much as $25,000 to $30,000..•••Not that he's looking to sell. •••"It goes in a safety deposit box. I'm going to let my kids fight over it when I die," he said.
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    Default The neck pull event of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics...

    Vanessa Tahbone, left, and Nicole Johnston, both originally from Nome, compete against one another in the neck pull event Saturday afternoon, July 23, 2011, during the World Eskimo Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center. Johnston won the women's division with Tahbone taking second. John Wagner/News-MinerEmil Geisler, left, of Greenland, and Robert Strick, of Wasilla compete against one another in the neck pull event Saturday afternoon, July 23, 2011, during the World Eskimo Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center. Geisler won the men's division with Strick taking second. John Wagner/News-MinerFAIRBANKS—The neck pull event of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics simulates two walrus fighting.•••••••••Walrus, though, don’t have legs.•••On Saturday afternoon at the Carlson Center, it was the legwork of Nicole Johnston and Emil Geisler that propelled them to the titles in the event that took place in WEIO’s early years and was brought back by the WEIO Board of Governors for this year’s 50th anniversary of the celebration of Native culture and games.•••The event starts with a thick leather loop placed around the necks of two competitors. The competitors then prop themselves into push-up positions on a floor that is marked by a center line and two back lines.•••A winner is determined when one athlete pulls the other’s hands across his back line.•••Many participants Saturday relied on upper-body muscles, but legwork was an ally for Johnston, a veteran WEIO athlete and current vice president of its Board of Governors, and Geisler, who was among a four-person contingent from Illulissat, Greenland.•••At the start, each would move their feet and legs back as quickly as possible to catch their opponents by surprise.•••“I think it’s probably the way we start because started locked up already,” Johnston assessed, “and it’s just the technique and the toes.”•••Johnston’s legs stayed as low to the floor as possible once she got off the ground.•••“And then you just pull back with your toes, like you’re crawling on the toes,” she said.•••Vanessa Tahbone gave Johnston a tough test in the women’s final, but the 42-year-old WEIO administrator and mother of two teenagers overcame the 21-year-old’s determination.•••“I just stayed tough, I tried not to slide,” Tahbone, of Nome, said. “I just kept a firm grip on the ground and kept my head up.”•••Nicole Pingayah of Chevak claimed the women’s bronze medal.•••While the neck pull was new to many participants Saturday, Geisler seemed to be in a comfort zone in the event.•••The 32-year-old auto mechanic and bodybuilder has competed in similar competitions in Greenland. Those, however, differ from WEIO neck pull because the strap is placed around a participant’s head, said Helga Nielsen, who is the president of Arctic Sports Greenland and was among the women’s neck pull entries Saturday.•••“It was the first time we tried it with the neck,” Nielsen said.•••It wasn’t the first time that Geisler quickly moved his legs and feet quickly for a victory.•••“It’s a technique we use in Greenland,” Giesler said.•••Ray Garris-Shoemaker also utilized his lower body to gain third place in the men’s neck pull. The 17-year-old West Valley High School senior was aided, too, by a background in wrestling and football.•••“You’ve got to use your core (muscles); core is the big thing,” Garris-Shoemaker said. “That’s what helped me and slowly breathing through and just working through it.”•••Giesler used the technique of focus to go unbeaten, capped by defeating Robert Strick of Wasilla in the final.•••“I must have the first one (title),” Giesler said of what he was thinking before he faced Strick.•••The stout competitor also had a perspective of his accomplishment during WEIO’s 50th year.•••“It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had,” he said, “being in Alaska with nice people and in a nice town.”•••Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    WBF's new auto-edit is still not fixed or removed, so I will continue using the three bullets to indicate a new paragraph.*••• This is quite a story about a....South African 'Dead' Man Wakes Up Alive in Morgue•••Workers at a South African mortuary got the shock of their lives Sunday when a man presumed dead by his family woke up screaming nearly a day later in a refrigerated morgue.•••The man, who is in 60s but does not want to be publicly identified, lost consciousness after suffering an asthma attack over the weekend, according to Sizwe Kupelo, spokesman for the Eastern Cape Health Department. His family reportedly thought he had died and called a private mortuary company rather than paramedics collect the body.•••The man then spent 21 hours in a refrigerated morgue, surrounded corpses. Upon awakening because of the freezing temperature he started to scream.•••"Two workers heard screaming from the refrigerators," Kupelo told ABC News. "They thought it was a ghost and they ran for their lives."•••The attendants returned with the entire mortuary team where as group they decided to open up the refrigerator. They discovered the confused, scared and cold man shivering in the morgue and immediately called an ambulance. After being placed under observation for six hours, doctors declared him stable and sent him home.••• says he will return for a check-up later this week.•••"The temperature in the refrigerator is designed to keep corpses from decomposing," he says. "So you can imagine it's definitely not appropriate for a live person."•••As amusing as the story is, Kupelo says the underlying issue is very serious. The government has gone public with this case to warn people that only trained health officials should declare people dead.•••"This is why we're saying as a health department that people should call health services to have their relatives declared and certified dead and not these private mortuaries," he said. "Those guys are aren't trained paramedics. They're about business."•••Kupelo said the man's grandson posted a Facebook note on Kupelo's wall attempting to defend the family's actions. But Kupelo said it may take a while for his miraculous recovery to sink in with the local villagers.•••"At the village I bet the rumor is going around that a ghost is amongst the villagers," says Kupelo. "There will probably be family members that will refuse to stay the night with him now."
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Great positive uplifting thread.....
    Don't know about the iPhone formatting issues your experiancing but there is a very good chance that next month when Apple's IOS_5 is released formatting issues such as that will be less of an issue.

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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ray View Post
    Great positive uplifting thread.....Don't know about the iPhone formatting issues your experiancing but there is a very good chance that next month when Apple's IOS_5 is released formatting issues such as that will be less of an issue.
    ••••••Thanks. I'm really glad you enjoy reading these stories. . ••• I'm kind of surprised tha no one else is posting stories of interest here.
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    Default Best Defense Against Black, Brown Bear Encounters....

    ••••State wildlife biologists currently don't have plans to locate the bear that mauled seven teens in the Talkeetna Mountains over the weekend because it's located in a remote area and say the bear is not perceived to be a public threat.••••Biologists also say it does not appear that the bear was acting especially aggressively.••••“The kids may not have actually provoked the bear's defensive response by any unusual activities in terms of throwing rocks or harassing the bears. But if a bear, particularly one with cubs, is surprised at close range, quite often they'll respond in a defensive way,” said biologist Lem Butler.••••If you do encounter a bear, Butler says your reaction depends on what kind of bear you encounter.*••••If you're in a group and encounter a brown bear, he says:•••Stand together•••Make a united front*•••Stand firm••••If the brown bear attacks:••••Curl up*••••Stay still*••••Stay quiet to prove to the bear you're not a threat••••But the rule changes for black bears, as they tend to be more predatory and have tried to feed on people.••••If you're in a group and encounter a black bear, he says:••••FIGHT••••Continue fighting*••••So, bottom line: If it's brown, lay down. If it's black, fight back.
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    Default Fingerprints reveal drug use in just a few minutes....

    Your fingerprint can now reveal whether or not you’re under the influence of drugs. And in mere minutes.••••Holy cow. This new handheld device can be used by police to detect the broken down byproducts from drugs that end up excreted through the sweat pores in your fingertips,*New Scientist reports.



    ••••The new tech was developed by Paul Yates and colleagues from*Intelligent Fingerprinting, originally based out of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.The device applies*gold nanoparticles coated with antibodies*(the proteins used by the immune system to neutralize invaders) to a fingerprint.More specifically, antibodies stick to antigens (the foreign molecules that trigger immune responses). And those antigens are on specific*metabolites, the byproducts of metabolism.Fluorescent dyes*attached to the antibodies are used to highlight the presence of any metabolites of drugs.••••The technique – called*illicit drug assays*– was first used to detect nicotine, but now works on a range of drugs, including cocaine, methadone, and cannabis.••••Until now, according to Yates, it’s hard to prove that someone is driving under the influence. Existing*drug driving*tests are invasive, can be easily contaminated, or aren’t sensitive enough.••••The new device, on the other hand, could detect nanograms of metabolites in minutes, he says. It should be available this year.••••The work was announced at the University College LondonInternational Crime Science Conference*in London this month.
    Last edited by Spin_Drift; 07-27-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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    Default Hospital scans palms to track patients....

    This is creepy•••••••••••••••A New York City hospital is using patients’ palms, not insurance cards, to pull records, according to a new report.••••The New York University Langone Medical Center started scanning palms last month to reduce paperwork and prevent identity theft, the New York Daily News reports, using a device that images the veins in a patient’s hand.••••Shaped like a butter tray, the black*PatientSecure device uses infrared light to scan palms, then links the unique biometric trait to a patient’s electronic health records.••••That’s right: no need to pore through a purse for an insurance card. When you return to the hospital for a visit, just place your hand on the box and let the machine do the talking.••••The hope is that such technology can help receptionists and patients spend more time dealing with each other than paperwork. NYU is the first hospital to use the system.••••Kathleen Lucadamo reports:••••One patient who asked not to be identified found it creepy.••••“It was the kind of intrusion that if government needed it, you’d have to be under arrest or something,” he said.••••The system is, of course, optional and the palm print is included in the patient information protected by federal law.*More than 22,000 patients have used the system already, the hospital says.
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    Default Foods With the Longest Expiration Dates...

    Every house has food in the pantry that has been there for weeks if not months, but according to food experts, you may want to think twice before throwing those items out. Many common food products last far longer than you might think.
    "We throw out tons of food each year in this country because people don't understand how long they can keep things," said Jo-Ann Heslin, a certified nutritionist and author of The Complete Food Counter.
    As Heslin and other nutritionists explain, consumers generally assume that foods should not be eaten after the use-by date on the package, but in reality, this date simply indicates the period of time when the food tastes best, not the date when it will suddenly make you sick.
    It's true that fresh foods like fruits and vegetables should not be consumed much after the use-by date has passed, as these products generally spoil quickly (unless frozen), but for countless packaged products, the consumption window can last for years.
    "For connoisseurs who have a real taste for a certain food, it's probably a good idea to use it by the best by date, but nothing bad will happen to you if you don't," said Keri Gans, a registered dietician and author of The Small Change Diet.
    The general recipe for longevity, according to these experts, is for the food to be low in liquids, sugar and oil, all of which have the potential to mold and spoil the food, or to have "lots and lots" of preservatives, which keep the food fresh longer.
    So if you're looking for groceries to buy in bulk and store in your pantry, these products are your best bet.

    Canned Beans and Vegetables
    Canned food, by definition, lasts longer than most products in the grocery store because it has been specially processed in air-tight cans. In general, canned items can stay good for 12-18 months, according to Gans, but some last even longer. Canned products like beans and vegetables, which are low in acid, can actually last for as long as two to five years. The only exception is if the can is dented or rusty, as that indicates the can has been punctured at some point, which speeds up the spoilage process.

    Spices
    You may want to think twice before replacing the containers in your spice rack. In general, most common spices like salt, pepper and oregano don't actually expire in the traditional sense, they just become less and less flavorful.
    "Salt occurs naturally in nature, it has no expiration date," Heslin said. "There is no difference in 10-year-old salt at all, as long as it hasn't been exposed to moisture."
    But over time, the potency and taste of the spice begins to decline, which is why Gans recommends using these spices within two to four years to be safe. Keep in mind too by that point, you'll probably have to use more of each spice in order to compensate for the loss in flavor.

    Cereal and Crackers

    You might as well start stocking up on crackers and cereal for the winter. According to Heslin, these products are essentially just "edible cardboard" that don't have enough moisture to grow bacteria or mold, so they can last for a very long time. Cereals like Cheerios and Puff Wheat, which have little to no sugar, can last for 18-24 months if unopened, while crackers like saltines can generally last for about two years.
    "The safety and nutrient quality of these products doesn't change, but the taste and texture might deteriorate somewhat," Heslin said.
    In other words, your body will be fine eating these things after more than a year, but you may find them a bit too stale to make it worthwhile.

    Dried Pasta and White Rice

    Just as with cereal and crackers, dried pasta and white rice do not contain enough moisture to spoil, and can therefore last for at least two years unopened. Consumers should be mindful though of what kind of pasta and rice they intend to store, though. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta may seem the same, but in reality each of these products contains more oil than their traditional counterparts, and can therefore go rancid much quicker.

    Popcorn

    Unmade popcorn kernels can last for up to two years, according to Gans, once again because they lack the oils and moisture that would lead to spoilage.

    Condiments

    All those condiments you have left over from July Fourth festivities may just barely survive until Independence Day weekend next year. Ketchup, mustard, horseradish and salad dressings generally contain no ingredients that can go bad, and according to Gans, they will last for a solid 12 months unopened before they completely lose their taste.

    Coca Cola

    Old fashioned Coca-Cola is the ultimate bomb shelter beverage. If left unopened, Heslin says a can of coke will take "an extraordinarily long time" to expire. Diet sodas, on the other hand, expire much more quickly because they contain artificial sweeteners that degrade with heat and time.

    Honey

    Honey can take years to expire, but according to Gans, one can conservatively hold onto it for about a year before its consistency begins to change, hardening and losing its sweet taste. Interestingly, Gans says that honey stays good for 12 months whether it's opened or unopened, making it one of the only foods where that is the case.

    Twinkies

    Despite all the claims in pop culture to the contrary, Twinkies don't actually last forever. In fact, you'd be lucky to have a Twinkie that is still edible after a few months

    BTW, this was posted from my laptop, hence the working paragraphs....
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    I have a ceramic container of (genuine) Djon moutarde that is almost finished after 32 years.

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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by purri View Post
    I have a ceramic container of (genuine) Djon moutarde that is almost finished after 32 years.
    LOL....picture please...
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    Default Dog Raises Over $17,000 After Running Marathon for Cancer Research

    •••••In 2008, when his new family adopted him,*Dozer the Goldendoodle*was the only pup left in the litter.•••••"He was the last of the bunch," said Rosana Dorsett, Dozer's owner. "He was the dog no one wanted ... but he's got a great heart."•••••It made Dozer kind of an underdog. But fast forward three years to the day of theMaryland Half Marathon*-- a 13-mile race for cancer research -- and this pup found his way to the front of the pack.•••••That was the day Dozer slipped past the virtual fence surrounding his yard as the marathon runners passed by. He got quickly caught up in the current at the 5-mile mark -- and kept up the pace for the remainder of the race, with people snapping his picture all along.•••••When he crossed the finish line, the bewildered pup with muddy paws turned to walk the eight miles back home, where he was awarded a finisher's medal from theUniversity of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.•••••Suddenly Dozer's life story changed. AFacebook page*was put together in his name to raise money for cancer research. Donations came pouring in, as did the fans. He now has 2,500 friends on the social media site and has raised more than $17,000.•••••To join Dozer's cause, click*here•••••Supporters and survivors post on the*pagedaily to thank Dozer for joining the marathon.•••••"As a cancer survivor, I'd just like to thank you for all you are doing to help," one follower wrote.•••••"You are our hero! We 'wuff' you," wrote another.*Michael Chaykowski, a disabled retiree in Florida -- saw Dozer's*page*and decided to donate, too, but for another reason.•••••"At first I laughed. I thought it was really funny ... after watching the video I started to cry, saw it was more than just a joke," he said. "He's been a great inspiration for me. I suppose, most of all, he's taught me how to believe in myself.•••••"Dozer is America's dog, inspiration for us all," said Chaykowsk.*While the wonder dog seems to inspire all and gives laughs to some, his run has benefited others in the best way of all.•••••Diane Salvatore, 55, was just diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She is a direct beneficiary of Dozer's fundraising -- the more than $17,000 that the pup raised has already been designated to go toward research that will help her and others like her.•••••"I don't think he's last anymore," said Salvatore. "I think he's come in first place. Great job to be the spokesdog for this type of research that needs to be done for this kind of breast cancer."
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Detectives restore garden for 101-year-old....

    Detectives restore garden for 101-year-old.... When Prince George’s County police detectives first found Nancy Poore Tufts, she was sitting in an upholstered chair near her walker, staring out the window. She was looking, she told the detectives, at the remnants of a garden she had promised to maintain for her mother some 40 years ago.*•••••Today, Tufts is 101. Her mother’s garden has long been buried beneath dense weeds and fallen trees. On Saturday, the two detectives who found Tufts — and several of their colleagues — descended on her Fort Washington home to clear the land and re-plant some of her mother’s garden.*•••••“They’re angels,” Tufts said, gazing out her window after the work was done. “They just flew in to help me.”*•••••Detectives Tammy Irons and Jennifer Ivy initially thought Tufts’s house was abandoned.*•••••The two investigators, assigned to the Prince George’s County District 4 station, were probing a rash of burglaries and looking for places where crooks might store their loot. Tufts’s red brick mansion along the Potomac River seemed to fit the bill.*•••••Long strands of green ivy blanketed the brick exterior, and leafy bushes covered in thick spider webs grew so high that they obscured some of the front windows. Knee-high grass covered the side yard and burst up through cracks in the driveway. The front door hung open.*•••••The detectives went inside, calling out while they looked around. Dusty books, hand bells and Victorian figurines lined wooden tables and cabinets. Somewhere, the investigators thought they heard ‘40s music.*•••••Then came Tufts’s call.*•••••“Yoo-hoo!” the centenarian chirped from her seat beneath the window.*•••••For about an hour, the detectives stood and talked to Tufts, learning about her history and the history of the mansion that has been designated a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation and a historic site by the county. They kept coming back over the next few weeks.*•••••“It took me back in time,” Ivy said. “It was amazing.”*•••••Born in London to American parents, Tufts’s family moved to Maryland in 1939, cutting a space for a house in Fort Washington out of land that was mostly woods. Tufts eventually earned several degrees, including a bachelor's and master’s from Syracuse University, and worked as a music teacher. She said she is sometimes known as the “panda lady” because she lets National Zoo officials harvest bamboo from her property to feed the pandas.*•••••“I could write a book with all the stuff I’ve done over the past 100 years,” Tufts said.*•••••Tufts has no children, and her husband, also a music teacher, died decades ago. She lives mostly independently in her home, which has no air conditioning, and she uses a walker to get around. She has a black cat named Spooky Spaghetti and a long-haired dachshund named Sir Maximilian. She said she wanted a guard dog but ended up rescuing the deaf dachshund after it was abandoned by its previous owner.*•••••The detectives said they were moved to help Tufts not because they felt she needed them, but because in frequent visits to her house, they grew to respect and admire her.*•••••“We weren’t doing it for pity for her,” said Sgt. Matt Barba, who is among those who have grown close with Tufts. “We were more doing it for praise.”*•••••Tufts is quick-witted, even sarcastic at times. When Irons asked if Tufts wanted her to put an ice pack in the freezer, Tufts stuck her tongue out and playfully responded “Well, what, do you want it in the oven?” As she posed for a picture with Barba, she joked, “Oh boy, wait until your wife sees this!”*•••••She is also well-read and in touch with current events. She inquired Saturday whether a reporter interviewing her worked for Rupert Murdoch, who she thinks is “really getting bad press.” She had scribbled “Gossip!” on two copies of Newsweek which advertised an interview with Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser.*•••••Tufts waited inside while detectives trimmed the bushes that blocked her windows and plowed a path through the dense brush that had overrun her garden. She seemed to be asleep while Ivy and Irons filled planters with red and purple perennials and impatiens, setting them along a white banister — which Tufts said came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inauguration — that once formed the garden’s wall.*•••••The detectives were nervous about how Tufts would react to the landscaping. Before work started, she gave them a hand-written list of the animals on her property — and a warning not to disturb any of them. She objected when she thought some bushes were trimmed too heavily. When most of the work was done, Irons stood beneath the window assessing the planters lining the garden.*•••••“I’m thinking this is beautiful,” Irons said, standing up against the window where Tufts looks out. “I’m hoping she’s in awe when she looks.”*•••••Afterward, as Tufts gazed out the window at the now cleared garden lined with planters, she seemed to give her approval: “Oh, it’s just marvelous,” she said.*•••••The detectives filled her bird feeder and left, promising to return to keep the plants watered.*zapotoskym@washpost.com
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Florida Sea Turtle With Shattered Shell Saved by Orthodontist, Veterinarians, Biotech

    Loggerhead Marinelife CenterFlorida Sea Turtle With Shattered Shell Saved by Orthodontist, Veterinarians, Biotech Firms.••••They called him Andre -- an endangered*green sea turtle*that washed up in 2010 on a sandbar on Juno Beach in Florida, nearly dead after a*boat ran him over with its propeller*and tore huge gashes in his shell. Biologists say accidents like that probably happen all the time, but since most of them are out on the open water, we never know about them.••••Now, Andre has received a year's worth of care from veterinarians, biotech companies, and even an orthodontist. The turtle -- all 170 pounds of him -- is healthy again, and ready to be released back into the Atlantic on Wednesday.••••"We found it to be very rewarding," said Dr. Alberto Vargas, the orthodontist who was called in to help by animal lovers at theLoggerhead Marinelife Center*in Juno Beach. "I grew up here, and so did members of my team. The turtle, the ocean, the beach, they're part of our community."••••Andre's body cavity was exposed to the elements by the propeller. He had three pounds of sand in his body, and infection had set in. He had a collapsed lung and pneumonia. There was even a live crab trapped beneath a corner of his broken shell. Melissa Ranly, the hospital coordinator who took the call when Andre was found, said she was surprised how much life there was in him, considering how badly he had been hurt.••••"We could tell he was a fighter," she said. "I can't tell you how many nights we sat awake thinking, 'What can we do to make this animal better?'"••••The center exists to rescue such animals, and the staff brought in some big guns. They called a Texas company called Kinetic Concepts, which provides a high-tech systen called V.A.C. therapy to cleanse wounds gently. It also helped make an artificial scaffold over Andre's shell while natural tissue was grown to fill the gaps.••••And a particularly complex job went to Dr. Vargas and his staff, who donated time to stretch sections of shell to help cover Andre's wounds, using adhesive so the shell would be solid when the parts were brought back together.••••Dr. Vargas and his team work on Andre's shell.••••"I usually do orthodontics on human beings, and I have no experience on animals," said Vargas. "It has helped us with our human patients because it taught us to think in new ways, to think outside the box. You can go out and discover new ways to solve problems."••••Vargas said he found that the adhesives he usually uses -- designed for human beings -- were not very effective on a sea turtle's shell. Something he'd taken for granted for years had to be re-mixed until it worked.••••Why all this effort for a turtle? Green sea turtles are reported to be dwindling in population, and Andre, said Ranly, was of prime age to be fathering new young.••••"These animals have been around for millions of years," said Ranly, "and to lose them because of collisions with humans would be a pity."••••Sure, there was publicity to be had from giving special care to a popular animal, and companies said they were glad to donate their time and equipment. Vargas said there was also the satisfaction of knowing that in his spare time, he was doing good.••••"I've got three boys -- a five, six and three-year-old -- and bringing them over to the center, they were very excited," he said. "I try to talk to them about the importance of helping out people who are poor, who are less fortunate than we are. This was a great way to lead by example to show the value of giving back."
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Teen Crosses Cultural Lines, Sings Chinese Opera

    By TERENCE CHEA Associated Press
    July 27, 2011
    Tyler Thompson is an unlikely star in the world of Chinese opera.

    The 15-year-old from Oakland has captivated audiences in the U.S. and China with his ability to sing pitch-perfect Mandarin and perform the ancient Chinese art form. The teen, who is black and only speaks some basic Chinese, has wowed teachers since he picked up the music as a kindergartner.

    "As soon as he opens his mouth and sings in Chinese, the Chinese are very surprised and then feel very proud of him," said his music teacher Sherlyn Chew. "When he puts on the costume, and all the acting, you can see that he's pretty good."

    Tyler is a standout student in Chew's Oakland-based Purple Silk Music Education program, which teaches children and youth — mostly from low-income immigrant families — how to sing and play traditional Chinese music. The program's Great Wall Youth Orchestra & Chorus has performed around the country.

    Tyler has learned to sing several well-known pieces of Chinese opera, a centuries-old form of musical theater known for its elaborate costumes, clanging gongs and cymbals, wide-ranging vocals and highly stylized movements.

    At the World Children's Festival in Washington in June, Tyler, dressed in a black robe emblazoned with golden dragons, got a standing ovation when he performed as Justice Bao, a famous Song Dynasty judge who fought government corruption, from the Chinese classic "Bao Qing Tian."

    "The music is very beautiful, and it's very passionate. You can hear it when it's being played," said Tyler, a theater student at the Oakland School for the Arts. "It's made me want to know more about the world outside of America or California or Oakland."

    David Lei, chairman of the Chinese Performing Arts Foundation in San Francisco, has seen Tyler perform several times and arranged to have him sing at the opening of a Chinese opera exhibit several years ago.

    "It's very authentic because he hits the tones just right, so you understand everything," Lei said. "People just don't expect an Afro-American kid to be doing it. It's the initial shock. There's a sense of novelty."

    Tyler, who comes from a music-loving family, began learning how to sing in Chinese a decade ago when he was a kindergartner in Chew's music class at Oakland's Lincoln Elementary School, where about 90 percent of students are Asian.

    Chew quickly recognized Tyler's talent and recruited him to join her Purple Silk music program, where students learn to sing Chinese songs and play traditional instruments such as a two-string violin called an erhu, a four-stringed lute known as a pipa and a bamboo flute called a dizi.

    "I really took a liking to him and thought he had quite a large range," said Chew, who started the music program at Oakland's Laney College in 1995. "He hears pitch very well, and his pronunciation of Chinese characters is very accurate."

    Tyler's mother, Vanessa Ladson, said her son's education at a predominantly Asian elementary school and participation in the Chinese music program have made him more open-minded.

    "He's grown a lot," she said. "He's learning a different culture, and the Asian children are learning his culture, so it's a plus-plus for everybody."


    Tyler said friends and classmates sometimes poke fun at him, wondering where a black kid from Oakland learned how to sing Chinese opera.

    "Sometimes they don't understand it," Tyler said. "It's just joking about the fact that as dark as I am, I'm singing Chinese. What's up with that? If I go to China, I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb. It's just those types of jokes. All in good fun."

    Since his first solo at age 6, Tyler has performed at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall and Herbst Theater, on television shows such as "Good Morning America" and at the U.S. State Department, where he sang for then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi.

    Tyler became a sensation in China several years ago after Chinese Central Television broadcast his performance at a Lunar New Year show in San Jose.

    Tyler, who has learned to speak some basic Chinese, was scheduled to make his debut performance in China in July, but he and his mother ran into trouble getting visas in time, Chew said.

    In recent years, Tyler has begun studying theater and acting more seriously, but he plans to keep performing traditional Chinese music, which has opened up a world of opportunities to him.

    "I've been sticking to this to see where else it will take me," he said.
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Tips for Novice Gold Seller

    By Sandra Block, USA TODAYJuly 30, 2011




    If there's any upside to the rancorous debate about the debt ceiling, it's this: That ankle bracelet gathering dust in your jewelry box is worth a lot more money now than it was a few months ago.

    Fears that the nation will default on its debts has pushed the price of gold to $1,616 an ounce, up 18% since the beginning of the year. That's prompted a lot of hard-up consumers to earn extra cash by selling unwanted jewelry.

    Consumers interested in selling their gold will find no shortage of buyers. Gold-buying kiosks are popping up at malls across the country. Many jewelry stores, pawn shops and online dealers pay cash for gold. Gold parties allow participants to meet their neighbors and go home with a check.

    But while gold is considered a safe haven during tough times, the market for gold is fraught with risk. Tips for novice sellers:

    Ask for credentials. The business should be licensed by your state to buy gold. You should also look for a buyer who's been around for a few years, says Gary Smith, a master gemologist appraiser for Smith's Jewelers in Montoursville, Pa. "If they've been doing it for six months, and it's a combination barbershop, gas station and gold buyer, you might not be getting the best value," he says.

    Check with the Better Business Bureau. So far this year, the BBB has received 408 complaints against gold, silver and platinum dealers, vs. 581 for all of 2010, says Kelsey Owen, marketing coordinator for the BBB.

    Cash4Gold, an online company that advertised during the 2009 Super Bowl, has been the subject of 350 complaints during the past three years, primarily from consumers who said the company's ads were misleading, according to the BBB. The BBB has given the company a C- rating. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has launched a civil investigation of the company in response to a "pattern of complaints" from customers who said they were paid far less than their gold was worth.

    Cash4Gold spokesman Evan Nierman said the BBB complaints represent only 0.03% of the company's 1 million transactions. "We are proud to cooperate closely with our local Better Business Bureau, and we work to ensure that every issue is addressed quickly and resolved to the full satisfaction of all parties involved," Nierman said.

    Get an appraisal first. Have antique or intricate jewelry appraised before selling it to a buyer that pays by weight. Those gold chains that nestled seductively in your chest hair back in the '80s are probably worth more for meltdown value than their artistry. But collectible jewelry could be worth more than the gold it's made of, says Cecilia Gardner, president of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a non-profit trade association.

    "If you know you've got a unique piece of high-end jewelry, you're probably going to do better selling it as an entire piece," she says.

    Smith says he recently appraised a sterling silver bracelet that was probably worth $40 as scrap metal. Because it was signed by the noted Danish silversmith Georg Jensen, though, the bracelet's resale value was about $900, he says.

    Comparison shop. Since lots of buyers are eager to purchase gold, it's worthwhile to get several bids before you sell. Prices for gold vary significantly, depending on where you sell it, the price of gold when you sell and "the number of hands in the pot," Smith says.

    For example, some home party sponsors pay sellers as little as 50% of the value of their gold, because the companies and the homeowner who hosts the event get a cut of the profits, Smith says. Likewise, gold dealers who work out of mall kiosks may pay only 60% to 70% of the value, because those dealers have to pay salaries and rent, plus the gold refiner's costs, Smith says.
    Protect your jewelry from loss. Before shipping jewelry to a buyer, get an appraisal so you'll have proof of value if the jewelry is lost, the BBB recommends. You should also check the buyer's reimbursement policy in the event of a loss.

    Keep up with the price of gold. You can find the most recent spot prices for gold at Kitco.com. That's not the price you're going to get, but it will give you a good basis for evaluating offers.
    Be realistic. Your old class ring might provide you with some extra walking-around cash, but it won't make you rich. Scrap dealers will only pay you for the amount of gold in your jewelry, and "very few things are made of solid gold," Gardner says.

    For example, a 14-karat ring is only 58% gold; the rest is base metals, Smith says. Before making an offer, a buyer may perform what's known as a "karat fineness" test — which involves scratching the metal — to determine the gold content.

    Be prepared to show ID. Gold buyers are required by law to ask sellers for government-issued identification, Gardner says. This requirement is designed to help police investigate the sale of stolen property and deter money laundering. All reputable gold buyers comply with these rules, Gardner says. "If you're not asked to identify yourself, you're in the wrong place."
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Pirate Henry Morgan's Long-Lost Ship Unearthed.....

    It was a pirate's life for Adm. Henry Morgan and now landlubbers can get a peek into the time during which the plundering privateer lived. Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe to be the Welshman's flagship.••••• An underwater archeological team consisting of divers from Texas State University, volunteers from the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/University of North Carolina-Wilmington's Aquarius Reef Base set off for the Chagres River in Central Panama. Using a magnetometer to help them scour the ocean floor for iron remains, they spotted a slight piece of ship hull in the sand.••••• "It was like looking for a needle in a haystack," said Frederick "Fritz" Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist and dive training officer with the River Systems Institute/Aquarena Center at Texas State University.••••• He was not exaggerating. Only about 2 inches of the hull were sticking up but after further excavation, the team found a ship hull and several wooden chests 2 feet into the mud and clay, leading them to believe that they had found Morgan's ship, "Satisfaction," dating back to 1671. It is the first successful archeological excavation in that area.••••• While Hanselmann is fairly positive that he won't find any gold or jewels, for him and the team, the history is the biggest "booty" they could have hoped for.••••• "The treasure is the history," Hanselmann said. "Everything we do is not for profit."•••• Not that they needed the money. The company that was made famous using Morgan's image, Captain Morgan's Rum, put up a substantial amount of money to back the dig, Hanselmann said.••••• Tom Herbst, brand manager for Captain Morgan's Rum, said in a statement. "When the opportunity arose for us to help make this discovery mission possible, it was a natural fit for us to get involved," he said. "The artifacts uncovered during this mission will help bring Henry Morgan and his adventures to life in a way never thought possible."••••• Captain Morgan's Rum has long used the image of the swashbuckling pirate as a mascot for its brand. Movies such as Disney's "The Pirates of the Caribbean" have portrayed pirates as a bloodthirsty lot, hungry for loot, power and, of course, the occasional pint.••••• But researchers say Morgan did not entirely fit such a disparaging depiction.••••• Morgan was hired by the British government to protect its colonies in the Americas. He traversed the seas, taking down anything that might harm British interests. Commander of a huge fleet, Morgan had 36 ships, about 1,900 men and about 240 cannons in tow.••••• He was traveling inbound to the fort of Castillo de San Lorenzo at the mouth of the Chagres River to try and loosen Spain's monopoly in the Caribbean where he ran into rocky waters and sank Satisfaction along with four other ships. But his career didn't end there. He went on to become the lieutenant governor of Jamaica and died a natural death in 1688.••••• "He was probably the most successful to enjoy his ill-gotten gains," said Dominique Rissolo, executive director of the Waitt Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in La Jolla, Calif.••••• *was part of a 2010 team that uncovered six cannons in the same area that led to the discovery of the ship. The cannons, along with the most recent findings, will go to Panama's National Institute of Culture.••••• The search is not over for the team. Rissolo said that the excavations are part of an ongoing collaboration with Panama to ensure the preservation of Panama's culture and learn a little bit more about Morgan.••••• While popular depictions of a mercenary Morgan might not be completely correct, Rissolo said, one stereotype rings true.•••••"He died a rich and inebriated man," he said.
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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    Default Synthetic Skin Spun From Spider Silk.....

    Coming Soon: The Amazing Spider… Silk?••••• *Researchers have found a new material for artificial skin by harvesting silk from nature’s most amazing weavers.••••• *Skin grafts are important for treating burn victims or hospitalized patients who have chronic bedsores. But instead of grafting skin from a body, researchers have been looking for an artificial material,*LiveScience explains:••••• *Ideally such a graft would be of a material tolerated by the body, have skin cells embedded within it to replace lost tissue, degrade safely over time as the new skin grows in and be strong enough to withstand all the rigors ordinary skin experiences.••••• Materials like collagen and even synthetic polymers didn’t seem strong enough. Spider dragline silk to the rescue!•••••*Not only is it the toughest known natural material –*5 times stronger than Kevlar*– its ancient folklore suggests that it could fight infections, stem bleeding, and heal wounds. Unlike the silk from silkworms (you know, from elementary school), spider silk doesn’t trigger rejection from the body. And it’s biodegradable!••••• In particular, the extraordinary strength and stretchiness of spider silk “are important factors for easy handling and transfer of many kinds of implants,” says study researcher Hanna Wendt of*Medical School Hannover*in Germany. •••••To test the silk’s usefulness, they essentially MILKEDgolden silk orb-weaver spiders*by stroking their silk glands and spooling up the silk fibers that came out.Then they wove meshes from the silk onto rectangular steel frames.Given the proper nurturing nutrients, warmth and air, the human skin cells that were placed on these scaffold meshes flourished. (Pictured: days 1 and 4 after seeding the mesh frame. Skin cells had spread from the corners into the meshes, reaching towards each other.)••••• The team was able to cultivate the 2 main skin cell types –keratinocytes*and*fibroblasts*–into tissue-like patterns resembling the 2 tissue layers of our bilayer skin:epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, anddermis, the layer of living tissue below the epidermis that contains blood capillaries, nerve endings, sweat glands, and hair follicles.•••••*“It was impressive to observe how human cells use spider silk,” Wendt says. “I think in the long term, for widespread daily clinical use, synthetic silk fibers providing the same mechanical- and cell culture- properties will be needed.”•••••*The*study*was published in*PLoS ONE*late last month.Via*LiveScience.Images:*golden silk orb-weaver spider*by Victor Patel via Wiki & spider silk mesh from Hanna Wendt et al.
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Doesn't anyone else have what they think to be interesting news to post? please...
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    Default Bing ads lead to more malware; new Mac Trojan in the wild....

    DANG I HATE THIS AUTO CORRECT FEATURE. IT REALLY MESSES THINGS UP FOR IPHONE POSTER. Bing ads lead to more malware; new Mac Trojan in the wild By Ed Bott | August 9, 2011, 5:28am PDTSummary:*Malware authors will do just about anything to fool you into installing their software. A popular target is search engine advertising, which one gang is using on Microsoft’s search results. In a separate attack, Mac users are being targeted by a Trojan that mimics a Flash installer.••••• Yesterday, I*showed you details of an ad*on Microsoft’s Bing search engine that led unwary visitors to a site serving up malware.••••• Several hours after I reported that ad to Microsoft, it was removed, and a spokesperson told me that Bing’s ad network will “continue to directly work with our agency media partners to verify and confirm any suspicious orders.”••••• Looks like there’s more work to do.••••• This morning, I’ve found multiple ads on Bing that go through seemingly innocent intermediary sites to the same malicious server in Russia.••••• Here, for example, is a pair of ads that appeared at the top of the Bing search results for*firefox download:••••• Clicking the second ad in that block leads to a site called ipcfiles.info. The landing page is just as convincing as the fake Google Chrome downloads I identified yesterday:••••• Likewise, a Bing search for*flash player*displays this block of ads above the search results.••••• Clicking the second ad in this group, which is served from a site called oeachot.info, leads to this landing page:••••• Again, this is convincing social engineering.••••• Both intermediary sites use scripts that redirect an unwary user to the same Russian server I flagged yesterday.••••• I found similar ads, all leading to the same server, when I searched Bing for*adobe reader,*utorrent, and*google earth.••••• This sort of attack has a higher than average probability of success, because casual Internet users have become accustomed to using search engines as a jumping-off point, and both Bing and Google place ads in prominent positions above search results, where they’re more likely to be clicked.••••• And because this gang uses a polymorphic engine, the files it delivers are not detected by conventional antivirus scanners. When I submitted both of these samples to VirusTotal today, only 3 of 43 scanning engines detected them as suspicious.•••• Currently, these ads lead only to Windows malware, but it’s possible that Mac users will be targeted by similar types of attacks. Last week, F-Secure identified a*fake Flash Player installer*delivered as a Mac package that is actually a DNS-changing Trojan.••••• Over the weekend, a customer on Apple’s support forumsreported finding this on his Mac, and this morning I confirmed that Apple has updated its XProtect signatures to include a definition that flags and removes this threat, which it calls OSX.QHost.WB.A. This is the first definition update for OS X since the*takedown of the Mac Defender gang*on June 23.
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    Default Awesome/crazy: Wedding gowns made of balloons

    Would you wear one of these....? •••• http://shine.yahoo.com/event/summert...photoViewer=13
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  31. #66
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    Default Amputated penis leads to lawsuit against doctor....

    Amputated penis leads to lawsuit against doctor By BRETT BARROUQUERE The Associated Press•••• Shelbyville, Ky. — The dispute between a Kentucky man and a surgeon over the necessity of amputating the patient's penis during surgery in 2008 is set to go to trial this week.••••• The doctor maintains he found cancer in the man's penis during surgery and that it had to be removed, according to the physician's attorney. The patient claims the surgery was supposed to be a circumcision and he never authorized the amputation, nor was he given a chance to seek a second opinion.••••• Jury selection begins Thursday in the lawsuit brought by Phillip Seaton of Waddy and his wife, Deborah, against Dr. John Patterson of Louisville. Attorneys hope to start opening statements that afternoon.••••• The Seatons sued Patterson in Shelby County Circuit Court in 2008 after an operation that resulted in the amputation.••••• Seaton, now in his 60s, was having the procedure on Oct. 19, 2007, to better treat inflammation.••••• Neither Kevin George, the attorney for the Seatons, nor Clay Robinson, the attorney for Patterson, would comment on the case. George said Shelby Circuit Judge Charles Hickman asked the lawyers to refrain from making public statements. Robinson did not respond to phone and email messages left at his office in recent weeks.••••• The lawsuit alleges Patterson removed Seaton's penis without consulting either Phillip or Deborah Seaton.••••• George said during a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 2 that the case comes down to whether jurors believe the amputation "was a necessary part of the surgery.'••••• "This is really a fact-driven case," Shelby Circuit Judge Charles Hickman said during the pre-trial conference.••••• George has said that the doctor's post-surgical notes show Patterson thought he detected cancer and removed the penis. But, George added, the situation was not an emergency.••••• "It didn't have to happen that way," George said in 2008, shortly after the lawsuit was filed.••••• Robinson has previously said that Patterson, a Kentucky-based urologist, had permission to perform any medical procedure deemed necessary and that the doctor found cancer in the organ during the surgery. Robinson has said that Patterson "had no reasonable option" but to remove the cancer.••••• "Mr. Seaton's problem was not the surgery, it was the cancer," Robinson said in 2008.••••• The trial had initially been set for January, but Hickman delayed the proceedings because of pre-trial publicity.••••• "I'm optimistic we can seat this jury," Robinson said during the pre-trial hearing.••••• The Seatons are seeking unspecified damages from Patterson for "loss of service, love and affection."••••• The Seatons also sued Jewish Hospital, where the surgery took place. The hospital settled with the Seatons for an undisclosed amount.••••• The Seatons' suit is similar to one in which an Indianapolis man was awarded more than $2.3 million in damages after he claimed his penis and left testicle were removed without his consent during surgery for an infection in 1997.
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  32. #67
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    Default The Russian tall ship Pallada to arrive in San Francisco....

    •••• Photo by Todd Lappin •••••••••• The Russian tall ship Pallada, a* Vladivostok Maritime Academy training vessel, is expected to arrive in the San Francisco Bay on Friday, August 19. The Pallada is currently on tour of ports in the western U.S., commemorating the 270th anniversary of Vitus Bering's original expedition into Alaska in 1741.* The 354-foot, three-masted frigate is known as the fastest sailing ship in the world and has trained over 12,000 cadets, midshipmen and students from all over Russia.* She was built in Poland at the Gdańk (Poland) shipyard in 1989.*••••• Though only in the bay area for a few short days, the crew has requested a visit to Fort Ross. We look forward to hosting them on Saturday.*
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  33. #68
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    Default Wonderful DOG... story on another thread by Skipper68.... :)

    Wonderful dog.......
    Quote Originally Posted by skipper68 View Post
    http://www.themortonreport.com/books...iver-drowning/ August 17, Tom and Marie Morgan of Ridgefield, Washington were walking along the edge of a tributary of the Lewis River with their six year-old daughter Taylor and family dog Maggie. The river was in full flow due to recent heavy rains. As Taylor ran forward to throw a rock into the river, the bank collapsed and, falling into the rushing torrent, Taylor was quickly swept away"I couldn't keep up with her," said her father, "the water was too quick." I was running as fast as I could along the edge when Maggie bolted past me for about 30 yards and then leaped into the river. I lost sight of both of them for a second and then I saw Maggie with Taylor's jacket collar in her mouth trying to swim towards the bank. The river took them down about another hundred yards before Maggie was able to reach the bank. Even though they went under a few times she didn't let go once. If it hadn't been for Maggie, we would have lost our daughter.. Taylor's father Tom says that it is not the first time Maggie has displayed an unusual degree of devotion towards Taylor. Continue reading the link-it's a story that needs to be told of the devotion of our fur kids;(
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  34. #69
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    Default Humpback Whale Gives 'Thank You' Performance to Rescuers

    abc_whale_free_lt_110730_wn.jpg

    A team of researchers received a magnificent "thank you" in the form of amazing jumps and dives from a whale they helped to rescue.

    The humpback whale became tangled in a nylon net in the Sea of Cortez off Baja, California.
    "When we first approached the whale, she was in horrible shape…The decision to rescue the whale came slowly. We knew there was a risk. But we decided to go for it," said Michael Fishbach, co-director with theGreat Whale Conservancy.

    His team worked from their boat to cut the whale loose from the netting with a small knife. Fishbach was able to get the whale's dorsal fin free.

    With the whale partially freed, it started swimming with the boat for about a half hour.

    "She kind of knew we were her chance, we were her lifeline," Fishbach said.

    After an hour, the whale was finally free.

    Fishbach said the moment that the whale was released from the netting, that's when the show began.
    Captured on video, the whale leaped at least 40 different times in and out of the water for the next hour.

    "It was a magnificent life form on this planet which was really on the brink of death was free and was just showing its joy of being alive," Fishbach said.

    On the video a little girl could be heard describing the scene.
    "Mommy, I know what she's doing," she said. "She's showing us that she's all free."
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  35. #70
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    Default Awesome people.... :)

    People are wonderful and amazing.... Check this out. Let it load fully before attempting to see it so you can see the action "fluently"...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v...j_yc&vq=medium
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    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

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