Thursday, May 5, 2011
Ever since SEAL Team 6 blew up its downed, stealth Black Hawk, aviation geeks around the globe have been trying to figure out what the hell it was. One flight expert has gathered the clues and created this detailed rendering.
David Cenciotti, the brain behind the sketch, has serious credentials: he's a former member of the Italian air force, current private pilot, computer engineer, and journalist. With the help of Ugo Crisponi, an artist at Aviation Graphic, we might have a better understanding of what whisked the commandos in and out without Pakistani interference (beyond a few photos of a severed tail rotor). It's still a drawing, of course, but here it's easier to appreciate the strange tail rotor, and the sleek, streamlined stealth chassis—particularly compared to the standard Black Hawk underneath (click images to expand). We're eager for more details to surface on this mystery bird, but I have a feeling the Pentagon wishes the whole thing had been blown to bits.
Waitrose-y Katie goes down the aisle again - at the supermarket: Proves she has the common touch as she pushes her own trolley
- She is the newest and most glamorous member of the royal family, and one of the best-known women in the world. But a dressed-down Duchess of Cambridge was happy to do the weekly shop mingling with other customers like any other housewife. Kate Middleton pushed a trolley among dozens of shoppers in Waitrose on the island of Anglesey, in North Wales.
Debra Burlingame, the sister of Chip Burlingame (pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon) met with President Obama today, along with other families who were victims of 9/11. Burlingame said she confronted Obama about Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuting the men who interrogated KSM, which may have produced intelligence leading us to bin Laden.
Burlingame describes the encounter with Obama: "As a former attorney I know you can't tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, 'No, I can't.' But I said 'we -- that shouldn't stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn't be here today if they hadn't done their jobs. Can't you at least give them your opinion.' And he said 'no I won't,' and he turned around and walked away."
Dem Senators’ Sex Bill Requires Relationship Training
A new law proposed in the Senate would require universities to have stricter policies against sexual harassment and have mandatory relationship training–and some free speech groups say there are problems with the law.
Earlier this month, Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced the Campus Sexual Violence Act (The Campus saVE Act) which would require universities to enforce new disciplinary guidelines against crimes of sexual violence. The law would amend the existing Clery Act, passed in 1990, which requires universities to report all crimes committed on campus.
While the law attempts to define and combat all manners of sexual harassment, it would also require all incoming freshman and university employees to attend mandatory classes on dating and healthy relationships.
OBAMA AND OSAMA:
“In one event, on May Day, the entire case against President Bush was demolished by one of his greatest critics: President Obama. . . . President Obama, one of the Bush administration’s most strident and vocal opponents, used the very tools, techniques, and tactics that he attacked previously and very publicly to accomplish it all, vindicating former President Bush and six years of the War on Terror before Obama took office.”
Very, Very Rutan gazurtoid via Militaryphotos.net
An undeniably Burt Rutan-esque aircraft has been spotted in the airspace just a few dozen miles south of Beale Air Force Base, prompting aerospace buffs to post the question: what is this Burt Rutan-esque aircraft doing in the air near Beale Air Force Base? Flight Global has since identified (possibly) the plane as Scaled Composites Model 355, but what’s less clear is what sort of aircraft it might be.
The DEW Line’s Stephen Trimble ventures a guess:
Whoa. An optionally manned/unmanned medium-altitude, long-range experimental aircraft with a SIGINT package strapped to the belly? Consider us intrigued.
The (Purportedly) Scaled Composites Model 355:
Boeing has entered the fray with its Phantom Ray, a stealth-style drone that just completed its inaugural test flight at Andrew’s Air Force Base. But the Phantom ups the ante: instead of being just an unmanned drone controlled by remote control, it can be controlled by a computer.
Fifty Years Ago, We (Tensely) Put the Second Man in Space
This week's situation room photo will likely be marked as one of history's most famous—fraught with anxiety. But there've been other American rooms filled with tension. When the US put Alan Shepard into space, it was serious business.
Russia had already beat the US outside of the atmosphere. The Cold War stakes were high. And, despite the precedent, this was only the second time in history that a human would be going into space—not exactly a casual undertaking, especially following a string of NASA launchpad disasters. These unpublished photos from LIFE's archives show the emotions rippling through everyone involved in the launch, which sent Shepard 116 miles upward into space, before splashing back down after only 15 minutes.
The most popular baby names for girls in 2010
The top 20 baby names for boys in 2010:
The recount for the state Supreme Court race has come to this: Votes from nuns have been thrown out.
The twist in the race between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg came during the recount in Sauk County. There, ballots of Cistercian nuns from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery in Prairie du Sac were rejected.
The nuns live a contemplative, monastic life and support themselves by baking and distributing altar breads, according to their website.
The speaker reaffirmed his position that he and his fellow Republicans would not agree to an increase in the U.S. debt limit with budget reforms and "real spending cuts."
Asked to define "real spending cuts," Boehner said, "It is time to start talking about trillions" of dollars, instead of the billions and tens of billions debated in earlier budget battles this year.
The number of claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, pushed up by auto-plant shutdowns and other unusual events that seasonal variations failed to take into account, the Labor Department said.
Applications for jobless benefits jumped by 43,000 to 474,000 in the week ended April 30, the most since August, Labor Department figures showed today
Artist concept of Gravity Probe B orbiting the Earth to measure space-time, a four-dimensional description of the universe including height, width, length, and time.
NASA's Gravity Probe B Confirms Two Einstein Space-Time Theories
ScienceDaily (May 4, 2011) — NASA's Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission has confirmed two key predictions derived from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which the spacecraft was designed to test.
The experiment, launched in 2004, used four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure the hypothesized geodetic effect, the warping of space and time around a gravitational body, and frame-dragging, the amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates.
GP-B determined both effects with unprecedented precision by pointing at a single star, IM Pegasi, while in a polar orbit around Earth. If gravity did not affect space and time, GP-B's gyroscopes would point in the same direction forever while in orbit. But in confirmation of Einstein's theories, the gyroscopes experienced measurable, minute changes in the direction of their spin, while Earth's gravity pulled at them.
The findings are online in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is endorsing a federal commission’s call to build a national museum devoted to American Latino art, history and culture next to the Capitol as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
I'm fine with this plan as long as they also build museums devoted to American-German, Irish, Swedish, Norwegian, Brazilian, Russian, Dutch, Italian, French--I think you get my point...There is very little room left on the Mall. A hundred story building with each country represented should work--one country per floor.
My advice to anti-abortion activists: dress up like Black Panther activists and you will be free to protest.
The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has taken a harder line against anti-abortion activists accused of trying to block access to clinics, suing at least a half-dozen of them under a federal law that lay mostly dormant during the Bush administration.
'I've never seen it this bad': River residents brace for floods breaking 84-year records after thousands forced to evacuate homes
Forecasters say high-water records from 1927 and 1937 great floods may fall
- Wednesday was the first day without rain since last Monday in some areas
- Prisoners fill 120,000 sandbags as worried residents closely watch levee
- Could still be two weeks before some of the most severe flooding hits
- Memphis officials haven't tested levees but have 'high confidence' in them
On Wednesday, the Mississippi eclipsed the 46ft mark set in 1937 in Caruthersville, Missouri, and the water was still rising, with a crest of 49.5ft forecast for Sunday.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST:
Chile Economy Expanded at Record Pace in March on Recovery. But they’ve taken a free-market approach.
Father who was climbing Everest in memory of his daughter dies of heart attack just before he reaches summit
Rick Hitch, from Roseville, California, was determined to climb Mount Everest, not just for himself but also for his daughter Cory, who committed suicide last year. An experienced climber, Mr Hitch had scaled six of the world's highest mountains but died on Everest as he approached the last base camp before the summit.
A massive crocodile and a protective mother hippopotamus lock jaws in a titanic battle in the Shire River, in the Liwonde National Park, Malawi. The reptile burst out of the shallows, jaws open, lunging towards a hippo and her calf. At first it looked like the reptile had the upper hand, but the hippo sent the scaly intruder packing bloodied and bruised...
...What makes these pictures more remarkable is that wildlife photographer Arnaud Germain had set up his camera by the river to snap his favourite bird, the kingfisher. But as he photographed the bird, all hell broke loose on the river behind it.
The United States seems to be on track to have more measles cases than any year in more than a decade, with virtually all cases linked to other countries, including Europe where there's a big outbreak.
Already there have been 89 cases reported so far. The U.S. normally sees only about 50 cases of measles in a year thanks to vaccinations.
Health officials are reluctant to make predictions, but acknowledge the pace of reports is unusually hot.
Tsunami Destroys 15 FightersMay 5, 2011: Japan has concluded that the recent earthquake has damaged 15 jet fighters beyond repair. Just finding that out was expensive. It costs over $9 million per aircraft to take them apart and find out how bad the damage was. Now the Japanese have to figure out how to obtain suitable replacements, and quickly.
“Two recessions, a couple of market crashes, and stubbornly high unemployment are all wreaking havoc on America’s middle class.”
Nearly Half of Detroit Can't Read
DETROIT (WWJ) – According to a new report, 47 percent of Detroiters are ”functionally illiterate.” The alarming new statistics were released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund on Wednesday.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with the Fund’s Director, Karen Tyler-Ruiz, who explained exactly what this means.
“Not able to fill out basic forms, for getting a job — those types of basic everyday (things). Reading a prescription; what’s on the bottle, how many you should take… just your basic everyday tasks,” she said.
The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.
The plan is a part of the administration's "Transportation Opportunities Act," an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.
Hezbollah Sets Up Base Near Mexican Border
A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico.
"They are recognized by many experts as the 'A' team of Muslim terrorist organizations," a former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News.
The former agent, referring to Shi'a Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, added, "They certainly have had successes in big-ticket bombings."
Some of the group's bombings include the U.S. embassy in Beirut and Israeli embassy in Argentina.
Turning 'Bad' Fat Into 'Good': A Future Treatment for Obesity?
ScienceDaily (May 3, 2011) — By knocking down the expression of a protein in rat brains known to stimulate eating, Johns Hopkins researchers say they not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat into a type that burns off more energy. The finding could lead to better obesity treatments for humans, the scientists report.