Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where's The Fifth Dimension when you need them?

Up, up, up, up and away: Twin balloon airship reaches space


Incredibly, the feat was achieved by volunteer space enthusiasts for the not-so-astronomical sum of $30,000 (£19,000). Called Tandem and made by California-based JP Aerospace, it took off from Nevada's Black Rock desert last Saturday and broke the airship altitude record by over 20,000 feet (four miles).

Atlanta has the widest gap between rich and poor

Atlanta has widest income gap between rich and poor of all the major U.S. cities, the U.S. Census reported on Wednesday. New Orleans ranked second, followed by the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C.

British develop 'super' broccoli

Popeye might want to consider switching to broccoli. British scientists unveiled a new breed of the vegetable that experts say packs a big nutritional punch.

The new broccoli was specially grown to contain two to three times the normal amount of glucoraphanin, a nutrient believed to help ward off heart disease.

"Vegetables are a medicine cabinet already," said Richard Mithen, who led the team of scientists at the Institute for Food Research in Norwich, England, that developed the new broccoli. "When you eat this broccoli ... you get a reduction in cholesterol in your blood stream," he told Associated Press Television.

Virgin Galactic chooses a pilot

After combing through a long list of astronauts, fighter pilots and space geeks, British billionaire Richard Branson settled on a new astronaut pilot to join his start-up space venture that aims to lift paying passenger’s into space.

Branson’s company Virgin Galactic announced Wednesday that former U.S. Air Force test pilot Keith Colmer will join chief pilot David Mackay to begin flight training and testing of the company’s revolutionary aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo.

In the past, the way people reached outer space is aboard a high-powered rocket.

Instead, Virgin Galactic will depart from Spaceport America in New Mexico using a WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. It will fly with the reusable SpaceShipTwo rocket plane under its wing to 50,000 feet, where the spaceship will separate, blast off, and be flown back to New Mexico.

When the rocket motor engages, strong gravitational forces will pin the pilot to the back of his seat as he steers the craft -– and up to six passengers -- to the edge of space, or about 60 miles above the Earth's surface.

Once they reach that suborbital altitude, passengers will experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth. Then they will re-enter the atmosphere and coast back to a runway at Spaceport America.

ACORN Plays Key Role in 'Occupy Wall Street' Movement

Former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in 'leaderless' Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing 'guerrilla' protest events and hiring canvassers to collect money for various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell
NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.

Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day - to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.

Beauty and the beast

Polluted America: Stunning aerial pictures highlight devastating damage to Earth wrought by industry

Spectacular: Toxic waste from aluminium manufacture collect in a pond in Darrow, Louisiana

At first glance they're beautiful, but these incredible snaps reveal something far more ugly. New York artist J Henry Fair's spectacular aerial images show the devastation man has wreaked on America. Pollution is exposed on a massive scale, creating striking vivid colours that highlight the scars of spillages, open cast mining, chemical and oil leaks, industrial decay and deforestation.The picture above shows toxic waste from an aluminium manufacture collected in a pond in Darrow, Louisiana.


The thermal images that prove 90% of tents in the Occupy camp in London are left EMPTY overnight

Thermal Imaging pictures taken at 11pm Monday 24 October

Footage from a thermal imaging camera taken late at night reveals just a fraction of the makeshift camp was occupied. An independent thermal imaging company, commissioned by the Daily Mail, captured these pictures after similar footage from a police helicopter found only one in ten tents were occupied after dark.

Obama and Biden AWOL on Iraq troop talks

Throughout the summer and autumn, as talks on a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq foundered, President Barack Obama and his point man on Iraq, Vice President Joe Biden, remained aloof from the process, not even phoning top Iraqi officials to help reach a deal, according to logs released by the U.S. Embassy here.

The omission is an unusual one, given the high priority that U.S. officials had given to achieving an agreement for some sort of residual U.S. presence in Iraq after the Dec. 31 pullout deadline set in a 2008 pact between the two countries. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other senior Pentagon officials spoke often about the need for an agreement in a pivotal country in a volatile region and insisted talks were continuing up until Friday, when Obama announced that all U.S. troops would be coming home before the end of December.