Monday, November 16, 2009

China -- green or much less so?

Two years ago, the New York Times reported that China was "choking on growth," with rapid economic development ravaging its environment. But in a recent column, the Times' Tom Friedman declared that "Red China [has] decided to become Green China," writing that the developing country now outpaces the United States in its pursuit of alternative energy.

Times example illustrates the schism in how the West regards China on the environment. One side argues that China is a pure environmental villain -- the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and an unmatched polluter. So, this case goes, the U.S. Congress shouldn't commit to capping carbon emissions when Beijing hasn't accepted binding reduction targets. The other side contends that China is already so far ahead of the United States in green technology that Americans should be trembling for their jobs, not to mention their competitive edge in the global marketplace.


What's up with the first rock from the sun?

NASA's Mercury mission spacecraft, Messenger, is revolutionizing humanity's view of the first rock from the sun. And its primary science mission hasn't even started yet.

During its third and final flyby of Mercury, NASA's Messenger has found minerals on the planet's surface that current models say shouldn't be there in such abundance. And it appears that the planet was volcanically active – explosively so – for far longer than current ideas about its geological history suggest.



Why not have the secret service watch them in a room at the white house?

The Thomson Correctional Center is pictured in Thomson, Illinois, about 150 miles west of Chicago, Monday. Obama administration officials will visit the virtually empty Illinois prison this week as a possible location to house foreign terrorism suspects moved from the Guantánamo Bay prison.

Illinois leaders split on taking Guantánamo detainees at state prison

Idea of transferring Guantánamo detainees to a prison in Illinois has backing of state's top Democrats, but Republican congressmen balk.

Grisly looks at true crime

Remember the killings of the Clutter family in Holcomb, KS 40 years ago, and the beginnings of Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood? Here's a list of 10 true crime books, all of which have at least a basis in reality (some are more theoretical looks at true crimes, such as Patricia Cornwell’s take on Jack the Ripper).

devil-white-city-larson1.The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Tells the story of Henry Howard Holmes, a serial killer who worked out of a hotel he owned outside the 1893 worlds fair.

2. Midnight in the Garden and Good and Evil by John Berendt

Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.

3. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

The story of the Ted Bundy Murders. Rule began researching her book while Bundy’s murders were unsolved. She had been friends and colleagues with Bundy.

portrait-killer-patricia-cornwell4. Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell

A proposed solution to the Jack the Ripper case from Cornwell’s perspective, using modern forensic suppositions and technology.

5. The Innocent Man by John Grisham

Chronicles the story of Ron Williamson, how he was arrested and charged with a crime he did not commit, how his case was (mis)handled and how an innocent man was sent to death row.

6. Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden

Describes the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, a notorious Colombian drug lord who became one of the narcotic trade’s first billionaires.

7. The Night Stalker by Phillip Carlo

Portrays the crimes of Richard Ramirez, the AC/DC-worshiping serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles in the 1980s.

8. deviant-harold-schecterDeviant by Harold Schechter

The story of Ed Gein, the killer whose fiendish fantasies inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

9. Studies in Murder by Edmund Pearson

An overview of five famous murders of the 19th and 20th centuries including those of Miss Lizzie Borden.

10. Homicide by David Simon

Enter the workday of real policemen. Follow fifteen detectives, three sergeants, and a lieutenant, whose job it is to investigate Baltimore’s 234 murders.

SIGNED 'Going Rogue" costs you $115/copy


The first signed copy of Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue, is now listed for sale and the price is $115. If she challenges Barack Obama in 2012 and becomes president, then $115 will be a bargain. Signed copies of Going Rogue are going to become reasonably plentiful once her booktour kicks off.

Her booktour starts on November 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s interesting to see her appearances closely mirror appearances made by Palin and John McCain when they were on the campaign trail. On December 7, Palin appears at the massive Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is close to the location of last year’s Republican National Convention.

500 years of gunpowder, 100 years of dreaming

Rail Gun Fires Successfully


Blitzer Railgun Test:  General Atomics

This is my boom stick. Well, not mine, but General Atomics'. Known primarily for manufacturing the Predator drone, General Atomics has also moved into the weapons business, as demonstrated by this first ever successful test of their "Blitzer" rail gun. This involved the cannon firing a number of rounds down the range at the US Army's Dugway Proving Grounds.

Not American

Outrage in Washington over Obama's Japan bow...

How low will he go?...
VIDEO: World Shakes Hands... Obama Bows...

Interruptions and beautiful meanings. From Paris

According to Dr Donald E. Wetmore, the average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 50-60 a day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday.

The average person spends less than 2 minutes per day in meaningful communication with their spouse,and spends less than 30 seconds a day in meaningful communication with their children.

I say, some interruptions are in fact, beautifully meaningful.

Environmentalism that works

United States Using Less Water Than 35 Years Ago

ScienceDaily (Nov. 16, 2009) — The United States is using less water than during the peak years of 1975 and 1980, according to water use estimates for 2005. Despite a 30 percent population increase during the past 25 years, overall water use has remained fairly stable according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.

Vit D and Curry in today’s health hints

  • Heart and Bone Damage from Low Vitamin D Tied to Declines in Sex Hormones
  • Vit D

    November 16, 2009 — Researchers are reporting what is believed to be the first conclusive evidence in men that the long-term ill effects of vitamin D deficiency are amplified by lower levels of the key sex hormone ... > full story


    Curry as Cure? Spicing Up the Effectiveness of a Potential Disease-Fighter

    November 16, 2009 — Scientists are reporting development of a nano-size capsule that boosts the body's uptake of curcumin, an ingredient in yellow curry now being evaluated in clinical trials for treatment of several ... > full story

  • Ft Hood, a recap of what we know

    muslim terrorist

    "Out of nowhere," Burnette (a solider waitng for his final physical) later recalled, "a man stood up in uniform, screamed 'Allahu Akbar,' and proceeded to open fire on myself and the rest of my fellow soldiers sitting there." One of the shots hit Burnette on his left pinky finger. Another on his left elbow. Another in the hip. The rampage continued for several minutes.

    Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood that claimed 13 lives and wounded more than 40. Three hours later, while the base was still in lockdown, an FBI spokesman dismissed suggestions that the attack was terrorism and said that a link between Hasan and terrorist organizations "is not being discussed."

    Yet, a little more than a week after the shooting we know that Hasan justified suicide bombings in an Internet posting. He lectured colleagues using the rhetoric of jihad. He warned darkly about "adverse events" if Muslims were not allowed to leave military service. He repeatedly sought counsel from a radical imam with known ties to al Qaeda. He tried to convert some of his patients to Islam--many of them soldiers troubled by their near-fatal experiences with jihadists. He printed business cards that made no mention of his military service but instead identified him as an "SOA," a soldier of Allah.

    No American has bow to a foreigner since the Revolution. Not American

    Japan expert to ABC: Yes, Obama’s bow made him look like an idiot

    The Return of Rationality

    World leaders back delay to final climate deal...
    Obama retreats...
    FLASHBACK 2008: 'Delay is no longer an option'...

    Gore event draws 200 protesters in Boca...