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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Saturday, February 26, 2005
NOTICE/ NOTICIA/ PAALALA/ PARACALO at iba pa.....
I will be gone from 26 February to 06 March
I will return back again with more exiting
informations and exciting news when I get back.
Don't forget to visit me.

*****

Yo estare Fuera
Comenzando desde del de Ventiseis de Febrero
asta el Seis de Marzo.
Para mas in Formacion y buenas noticias
cuando regrese.
No se te olvide' a visitar mi blogspot.

*****

Paracalo
Tha eime fergatos apo 26 Fevrouarios eisame 5 Martiou.
Otan tha xenartho tha cho polla
kenouria nea na diavasete.
Men mas stamatisete.
Efharesto.

*****

Akoy's mawawala ng panandalian mula 26 ng Pebrero
hanggang 06 ng Marso.
Subali't ako ay babalik upang magbigay ng mga
magagandang talatain at mga buladas na iba't iba.
Huwag nyong kalilimutang bumisita sa aking Blogspot.
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:02 AM   1 comments
THE UNVANQUISHED...VIRGIN VIEWING
Meet 10 men with hardly any
notches on their bedposts.

(Meaning to say, still a Virgin)

1.. Isaac Newton
The mathematician was purportedly hit by
an apple, marking the only time in his life
he got nailed.

2.. Friedrch Nietzsche
The philosopher apparently died of syphillis...
contracted via a medical infection.

3.. Lewis Carroll
The author of the beloved children's
classic Alice in Wonderland died
a Virgin.

4.. Hans Christian Andersen
The author of the beloved children classis
The Ugly Ducklingdied a
Virgin.

5.. J.M. Barrie
The author of the beloved children's classic
Peter Pan also died a Virgin.

6.. Beethoven
Everyone's favorite deaf composer didn't
seal the deal with the ladies.

7.. Adolf Hitler
His obsession with purity also applied to
nonracial matters.

8.. Andy Warhol
Mr. 15 minutes of Fame chose to devote himself
to his art,(painting soup cans)

9.. Morrissey
The sad singer said he was celibate,
but adds it now applies "only on Christmas
andbank holidays.

10. Clay Aiken
Yep, the American Idol. Which is a shame,
'cuz he could get more chicks than any
man since, Liberace.

(abstracted from CIRCUSMAXIMUS/MAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:45 AM   0 comments
CIRCUS MAXIMUS
SHORT NEWS WORTH READING AND
INTERESTING TO KNOW


RUSSIA
A well-known female boxer and her coach
consumated their wedding vows by climbing
into a ring and sparring each other.
The couple, who called the fight
"Symbolic", haven't yet set up a rematch
in divorce court.

WASHINGTON
After running naked through a Spokance
Denny's at 5 a.m., three streakers
were stranded in 20-degree weather because
their car had been stolen-- with all their
clothes in it. The trio left the vehicle
running for a quick getaway, a fact noted
by a car thieF eating at Denny's. Police
nabbed the asses hiding behind parked cars
but did'nt charge them.

ARGENTINA
A 22-year old man was attacked by lion
at the Buenos Aires Zoo after he leapt
into its enclosure and waved his jacket at
the irritated beasts. Sadly, alert keepers
shot the pawing lion with a tranquilizer
dart before the matador wannabe was seriously
injured.

ENGLAND
The owner of a Manchester pub turned the empty
lot next to his bar into a cemetery for his
patrons. Drunks plunked down beer money in
return for their very own plot,
with one begging buddies to get tanked on
his grave every Friday night.

GERMANY
Ten teachers at a Luneburg school were taken to
the hospital after gorging on a pot-laced
chocolate cake this student left in their break
room. Reports that the Krauts also spread cake
all over their faces and chest went unconfirmed.

CHINA
Pagent Finalists Enhanced to be a cut above
A 22-year old student took top honors in the
Commie country's first-ever beautry pageant
featuring only contestants who had undergone plastic
surgery. Feng Qian of Jilin sported a teal
bathing suit to match her re-designed cheeks and
eyelids and took home a $6,000 country club
membership as a proof that the work was worth it.
The man-made looker edged out 19 other finalists
including such tough competition as a 62-year old
retiree and a 21-year old who, until three years
ago was a man.

RUSSIA
A vacationing Russian couple tried to save some
rubles by hiding their three year old daugther
in a suitcase,but their frugal plan was discovered
when the bag was stolen. After arriving at a
Moscow train station, the girl's parents passed the
downtime with a few drinkskis--which is why they
did'nt notice when the thieves ganked their progeny
hiding luggage. The perps kept the bag but ditched
the tot, who was later found wandering the streets
in search of both her lost parents and her childlike
innocence.

ITALY
Middle aged man thinks he's a pussy
A man believing himself to be a cat had to be rescued
from a tree by firefighters because he could'nt get
down after clawing his way up. Nearby shoppers called
in the rescuers after the 46-year old Milanese cat-man
spent an hour mewing for help, during which time
local children failed to lure him from the perch with
a saucer of milk. Once down, the feline freak took a
ride to a psychiatric hospital, where he presumably
underwent a barrage of tests and a neutering.

BRAZIL
South American Jailbirds watched by Jail Birds
Four prison in Sao Paolo's Paraiba Valley have begun
emplOying geese as warm-blooded alarms used to warm guards
about escaping cons. Idalecio Pereira Campos, the director
of Tremember Prison, remembered being chased by geese as a kid
and figured the fowl would make great deterrents. No inmates
have escaped since eagle-eyed geese started on the job, but the
number of old ladies tossing breadcrumbs at the prison has
dramaticaly increased.

(abstracted from MAXIMONLINE.COM/PLANET.MAXIM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:10 AM   0 comments
A GREAT HORNED OWL WITH SECOND SIGHT
"Her driver's license would have been pulled",
says Christopher Murphy, a University of
Wisconsin-Madison veterinary ophthalmologist,
describibng the impaired vision of a great
horned owl with cataracts. Last year the owl
became the first bird of prey known by the
surgeon to have received custom made lenses
and subsequently be released back into the wild.

Emaciated and unable to hunt, the owl was
found in eastern Wisconsin and brought to
Murphy and his team for surgery. The team
removed the owl's cataracts and implanted
the permanent lenses. One week later they
took out the sutures from the outher corners
of the eyelids of the owl. Soon she was back
in the wild, successfully hunting live prey.

(abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/
NATGEOMAG/ by: John L. Eliot)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:01 AM   0 comments
Friday, February 25, 2005
THE REEL WORLD
The Nigerians don't go to the movies;
the movies come to them. With few operating
cinemas in Nigeria's largest city of Lagos,
screenings often occur in local restaurants
and private homes; videos are sold at market
stands and sometimes hawked to motorists caught
in traffic.This distribution of films from
"Nollywood", as the country's ultralow-budget
industry is known, may seem unusual, but it
still satiefies the demand for movies--
an obsession shared by people around the world.

In 2003, according to film industry source
Screen Digestsome seven billion movie
tickets were sold worldwide, earning an estimated
22 billion dollars. The greatest share of these
global box-office receipts --more than 43 percent--
came from U.S. theatres. Japanese theatres charged
the most fo the tickets: Reserved seats can cost
up top $25. Though India made more films than
Hollywood, it made less money from them; the price
of admission to an Indian theater averaged just 20 cents.

Many American blockbusters rake in money internaally
than at home. Titanic, the highest grossing
film of all time, made two-thirds of its 1.8 billion
dollar take overseas. American movies have long been
retooled for foreign sale. In 1930's stars such as the
comedy team of Laurel and Hardy reshot their films in
Germany and other languages -- coached with phonetically
spelled cue cards. Now native speakers are recorded over
original actor's voice with varying success. In the
French version of Star Wars, the villans's
voice is considerably less menacing,and his name's
been changed to Dark Vador.

American movies may be popular abroad, but foreign
concessions stands still cater to local tastes.
Some European audiences wash their popcorn with beer,
in China the popcorn's sweetened. Other film sancks
favorites there -- spicy cabbage, salted plums,
dried squid shreds--have a flavor all of their own.

(abstracted from GEOGRPHICA/NATGEOMAG
The Geography of Everyday Life/ by: Scott Elder
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:07 PM   1 comments
WEEDING OUT LAND MINES
Gene-altered plant blushes when roots sense explosives.

A lethal problem just might be solved with
a leafy approach.: using genetically modified
plants to find land mines. Scientists at the
Danish firm Aresa Biodetection and the
University of Copenhagen have produced
a variety of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)
that turns green to red when its roots encounter
nitrogen dioxide -- a by-product of land mines
that gradually evaporates from buried explosives.

Thale Cress naturally changes color under certain
conditions, says Aresa's founder Carsten Meier.
"We manipulated the plant's genetic switch so that
this variety changes color when it senses nitrogen
dioxide." A range of experiments have been performed
with Thale Cress, including growing in soil laced
with TNT solution and in boxes containing land mines.
Soon Meier hopes to test the plant on land mines in Bosnia.

"It's an interesting idea," says land mine expert
Bill Reid, who still notes several drawbacks, among
them the costs of defoliating minefields before sowing
the plants, and watering in arid climates. But Meier
thinks further research may yield strains able to
overcome such challenges.

Scientists have tried many techniques to loacte the
world's estimated 60 million land mines, from training
rats to sniff out explosives to using honeybees to collect
chemical samples. As yet, says Reid, "there is no silver bullet".

(abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/NATGEOMAG by: Peter Gwin)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:52 AM   0 comments
COULD YOU RECOGNIZE AUTISM IF YOUR CHILD HAD IT?
WARNING SIGNS

These are among the possible warning signs
of Autism and other
developmental delays in babies and young children.

*** 3 months: Does not smile at people.
Does'nt pay attention to new faces, or seems very
frightened by new faces or surroundings.

*** 4 months:Does not babble.

*** 7 months: Refuses to cuddle. Shows no
affection for caretaker. Does'nt seem to enjoy being around
people. Does not try to attract attention through actions.

*** 8 months: Shows no interests in peekaboo.

*** 12 months:Says no single words. Does not
learn to use gestures, such as waving or shaking head.
Does not point to objects or pictures.

*** 2 years:Walks on toes. Does not speak at
least 15 words or use two-word sentences. Does not imitate
actions or words or follow simple instructions.

*** 3 years:Can't communicate in short phrases.
No "pretend" play. Does'nt understand simple instructions.
Little interest in other children. Extreme difficulty in separating
from mother. Poor eye contact. Limited interest on toys.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:30 AM   0 comments
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posted by infraternam meam @ 3:26 AM   0 comments
Thursday, February 24, 2005
CAMELOT FOR SALE
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who died in 1994,
didn't consider herself a collector -- even
though she filled her five homes (in New York,
New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts) with art,
antiques and, yes, plain old junk. This month
her daughter Caroline Kennedy, 47, have put some
700 objects on auction at Sotheby's in New York City.
Ready to own a piece of the Dream? Don't be fooled
by the estimated values listed. Last time Kennedy
curios went on the block, in 1996, actual prices
were hundred of times higher.

$4,000 - $6,000
The President, who had a bad back, felt comfortable
in rockers, says one of Jackie's decorators,
Richard Nelson."They were in every house."

$1,200 - $1,500
Van Cleef and Arpels golden girl with a coral
head holds a sapphire diamond flower.

$400 - $500
"Jackie wore a lot of fake pearls" says Jeweler
Kenneth Jay Lane.One of her pair necklaces is
on sale.

$100 - $150 each
Monogrammed horse blankets (the aluminum chests
costs extra) attest to Jackie's love of riding
and fox hunting.

$6,000 - $8,000
Louis XVI chairs were typical of Jackie's
style -- "beautiful but not grandiose", says
friend Aileen Mehle.

$7,000 - $9,000
Frederick Mayhew's 19th century portrait
of a sea cpatain (whcih appeared with
Jackie in the cover of Time) hung at the
family's Hyannis Port summer house.

$300 - $450
Garden of kitsch-en delights
could have come straight from the set
of That 70's Show.

(abstracted from PEOPLE)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:57 AM   0 comments
U.S. POLICY RAISES DOUBT WORLDWIDE
DOUBTS ABOUT SPREADING DEMOCRACY

Recent Ipsos poll for Ap shows adults abroad
think the United States should not promote
the establishment of democtracy.

Poll date based on AP-Ipsos surveys of 1,000
adults in each country between Feb. 9 to Feb. 17.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage
points.



U.S........ 45% SHOULD
........... 53% SHOULD NOT
........... 2% NOT SURE

CANADA..... 22% SHOULD
........... 76% SHOULD NOT
........... 2% NOT SURE

MEXICO..... 28% SHOULD
........... 64% SHOULD NOT
........... 8% NOT SURE

FRANCE..... 10% SHOULD
........... 84% SHOULD NOT
........... 6% NOT SURE

GERMANY.... 18% SHOULD
........... 78% SHOULD NOT
........... 4% NOT SURE

ITALY...... 36% SHOULD
........... 53% SHOULD NOT
........... 11% NOT SURE

SPAIN...... 20% SHOULD
........... 61% SHOULD NOT
........... 13% NOT SURE

U.K........ 32% SHOULD
........... 66% SHOULD NOT
........... 2% NOT SURE

(Source: Ipsos Public Affairs for Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
200-YEAR-OLD PENNY SELLS FOR MORE THAN $400,000
BEVERLY HILLS, California----
A copper penny minted in 1792 and kept in a
tobacco tin for decades was auctioned Monday
for $437,000.

Antony Terranova of New York City was the
highest bidder, said Donn Pearlman, spokesman
for Beverly Hills auction house Ira & Larry
Goldberg Coin & Collectibles, Inc.

The penny's owners were descendants of Oliver
Wolcott, the governor of Connecticut in the
1790's and a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, according to auctioneer Ira Goldberg.

"The historical importance of this coin cannot
be overestated," said Michael Sherman, vice
president of Professional Coin Grading Services,
which directed a team of expert who authenticated
the coin.

The chocolate colored penny, the ninth known example
if its type, bears the date 1792, an inscription
"Parent of Science & Industry: Liberty", and the
likeness of a woman's head representing Miss Liberty,
Goldberg said.

The owners surprised collectors with its existence
in August when he brought the valuable penny to
the American Numismatic Association World's Fair
of Money convention in Pittsburgh.

(abstracted from DAILYHERLD/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:34 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
NEW NAVY SPY SUBMARINE READY FOR DUTY
GROTON, CONNECTICUT--
The USS Jimmy Carter enters the Navy's fleet
as the most heavily armed submarine evrr built,
and as the last of the Seawolf class of attack
subs that the Pentagon ordered during the Cold
War's final years.

The $3.2 billion Jimmy Carter was comissioned
Saturday, signaling the end of an era in
submarining and more uncertain times for the
multibillion dollar industry.

The 453 foot, 12,000 ton submarine has a 50 torpedo
payload and eight torpedo tubes. And, according to
intelligence experts, it can tap undersea cables and
eavesdrop on the communications.

As the Pentagon looks to shrink the submarine fleet
and buy smaller, cheaper subs, the commissioning
ceremony harkens back to a time when ship builders
bustled to maintain an overpowering fleet of massive subs.

In easetern Connecticut, a region steeped in submarine
history and the home of the Electric Boat Shipyard,
which built and launched the Seawolves, some fear the
Pentagon will close the submarine base as part of the
Base Realignment and Closure initiative.

"It's hard to find a civilian that doen'st have some
connection to the sub force", said Bud Fay, who owns a
diner, car wash and laundry not far from the base gates
in Groton.

Capt. Robert D. Kelso, commander of the Jimmy Carter,
said BRAC has caused uncertainty on the base. "You can
make a good case to keep the base open...The Community
can be proud of this commissioning ceremony".

Saturday's ceremony will be the last comissioning in
Groton for years. Electric Boat and Newport News in
Virigina are teaming up to build the Viriginia class
submarines, which will be commissioned else where.

John Pike, a military analyst with globalsecurity.org,
said the ceremony closes the book on the big submarine era.

(abstracted from DAILYHERLAD/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:10 AM   0 comments
LAWSUIT FILED OVER KOKO'S ODD REQUESTS
WOODSIDE, CALIFORNIA---
Two fired caretakers for Koko, the world famous
sign language speaking Gorilla, have sued their
former bosses, claiming thery were pressured to
expose their breasts as a way of bonding with the
300 pound simian gorilla.

Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, both of San Francisco,
claim they were subjected to sexual discrimination and
then wrongfully terminated after reporting health and
safety violations at Koko's home in Woodside, an upscale
town in the south San Francisco Bay area.

The lawsuit against the Gorilla Foundation and its president,
Francine "Penny" Patterson, the longtime trainer of the well
know gorilla, was filed this week in San Mateo Country Superior
Court. It seeks damages totalling more than $1 million.

Foundation attorney Todd Roberts said the case mischaracterizes
the foundation and turns "purported employment issue" into
publicity "hurtful" for a reputable organization.

"We unequivocally deny these allegations and are confident
that this case lucks merit", Roberts said.

Alperian and Keller were hired last year and were among 16
employees of the foundation, which was founded in 1976 to
promote the preservation and study of gorillas. It is best
known for Koko, who has mastered a vocabulary of more than
1,000 signs; the foundation says she has advanced further in
language than any other non human.

The suit claims Patterson pressured the two women on several
occasions to expose their breasts to Koko, a 33 year old female
-- sometimes in situations where other employees could
potentially view their bodies. The women never undressed,
said their attorney, Stephen Sommers of San Francisco.

They were threatened that if they did not indulge Koko's
desire to see their nipples, their employment would suffer,
the lawsuit alleged.

In addition to the alleged harassmanet, the two former workers
claimed the Woodside facility had unsanitary and unsafe conditions,
including rodents in the food preparation area and gorilla urine
stored in the refrigerator where workers kept their lunches.

They complained to the California Division of Occupational
Safety and Health and were fired on Aug 6, the day after
the inspectors visited the site and found code violations,
according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also calims the nonprofit failed to pay for
overtime and provide rest breaks.

(abstracted from DAILYHERALD/
Associated Press report)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:52 AM   1 comments
Monday, February 21, 2005
STOP BAD BREATH
Try these Five Maneuvers:

** Be sure you're healthy.
Allergies, sinus trouble, gastroesophageal reflux,
cavities and gum disease can cause bad breath,
so see your doctor or dentist.

** Work on hygiene.
Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals. Remember,
you aren't done until you've brush your tongue. Tiny
food particles in taste buds are an all-you-can-eat buffet
for bacteria! Next, floss daily. Don't believe flossing works?
Grab floss and get to work in the bathroom. Now smell the
floss (gross, but stay with me and you'll be a believer).
That foul odor is what others smell on your breath.

** Keep your mouth moist.
Saliva washes bacteria and debris down the food pipe.
To keep saliva forming, try mints or gum (not sugary nes).
There's evidence that breath freshening cinnamon and plant
oils in gum kill bad breath becteria. And drink lots of water --
slosh it inside your mouth before swallowing.

** Skip stinky food.
As pungent foods move through the body, they're given off
in the breath; brushing won't stop it.

** Get a good mouthwash.
Most work like mints after an Italian meal -- they just
cover odor -- but a few mouthwashes are antiseptic.
Your dentist can point you toward a good brand.

With halitosis, the best defense is a good offense.

(abstracted from USAWEEKEND/ by Dr. Tedd Mitchell
Medical Director of Wellness Program at the
Cooper Clinic in Dallas)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:14 AM   0 comments
COFFEE MAY HELP PREVENT LIVER CANCER, STUDY SAYS
WASHINGTON --
That hot cup of coffee may do more than
just provide a tasty energy boost.
It also may help prevent the most
common type of liver cancer.

A study of more than 90,000 Japanese
found that people who drank coffee daily
or nearly every day had half the liver
cancer risk of those who have never
drank coffee.

The researches noted that coffee contains
large amounts of antioxidants and several
animal studies have indicated those
compounds have the potential to inbibit
caner in the liver.

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:08 AM   0 comments
Sunday, February 20, 2005
'DA VINCI CODE' ACCURACY PUT ON TRIAL
Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a museum
dedicted to Leonardo da Vinci, presents
his rebuttal of historical claims made in
Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code"


Experts, clerics go on attack as novel's
friends, foes gather
.

ROME---Art experts and conservative
clerics are holding an unusual "trial" in
Leonardo Da Vinci's hometown aimed at sorting out
fact from fiction in the "The Da Vinci Code" after
many readers took the smash hit novel as gospel truth.

The event in Vinci, just outside of Florence, began
Friday with an opening statement by Alessandro Vezzosi,
director of a museum dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci.
He said he will produce photographs and documents as
evidence of the mistake and historical inaccuracies
contained in Dan Brown's best seller.

"Leonardo is misrepresented and belittled,Vezzosi said
before the event began. "His importance is misunderstood.
He was man full of fantasy, inventions and genius'

The novel's contentions allegations --namely, tha Jesus
married Mary Magdalene and sired a bloodline -- have
provoked unprecedented protest among Roman Catholics and
Protestant conservatives, who say that Brown's characters
malign Christianity.

The book portrays Roman Catholic leaders as demonizing
women for centuries and covering up the truth about the
Holy Grail, which the novel says is Mary Magdalene herself.

Verzzosi said he will produce evidence through 120 photographs
based on documents and painting with the aim of "reassessing
and disclaiming the author" of the mystical thriller,
a mix of code-breaking, art history, secret societies,
religion and lore.

Verzzosi said one example of the novel's mistake is the
statement that the Mona Lisa was made of Leonardo's image.

"There's a very big difference between Mona Lisa's and
Leonardo's noses, mouths, eyes and expressions," he said,
adding that he will compare two portraits to prove it.

Brown has not said much about the controversy surrounding
the blockbuster book, but he told NBC's "Today" show in
June 2003 that while the novel's main character:
Robert Langdon, is fictional, "all of the art,
architecture, secret rituals, secret societies,
all of that is historical fact".

Organizers said there would be nobody speaking in the
book's defense and the "verdict" would be contained
within the presentations of the speakers.

But that does not mean the book will be completely
hung out to dry: Hundreds of fans were expected to
attend the trail.

"This initiative has recived a lot of interest,
with people calling to confirm their attendance,"
Verzzosi said.

"The Da Vinci Code" has sold more than 7.5 million
copies worldwide an is expected to be made into a movie.

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/WORLD
Associated Press by: Marta Falconi)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:31 AM   0 comments
Friday, February 18, 2005
SOME FACTUAL ERROR IN THE DA VINCI CODE
Here are some Factual Errors in
The Da Vinci Code:

1... Jesus life was decidedly not
"recorded by thousands of followers
across the land." He did'nt even have
thousands of followers, let along literate
one(see Da Vinci book page 231.)

2... It's not true that eighty Gospels
"were considered for the New Testament"
(see Da Vinci book p.231) This makes it
sound like there was a contest, entered by mail...

3... It's absolutely not ture that Jesus was not
considered divine until the Council of Nicea,
that before that he was considered merely as
"a mortal prophet" (Da Vinci book, p.233).
The vast majority of Christians by the early
fourth century acknoweldged him as divine.
(Some thought he was so divine he was'nt even a human).

4... Constantine did not commission a "new bible"
that omitted references to Jesus' human traits
(Da Vinci book, p.234). For one thing, he didn't
commission a new Bible at all. For another thing,
the books that did get included are chock-full of
referneces to his human traits (he gets hungry,
tired, angry, he gets upset; be bleeds, he dies...)

5... The Dead Sea Scrolls were not "found in the 1950's"
(see Da Vinci book p.234) It was 1947. And the Nag Hammadi
documents do not tell the Grail story at all, nor do
they emphasize Jesus' human traits. Quite the contrary.

6... "Jewish decorum" in no way forbade " a Jewish man
to be unmarried"( see Da Vinci book p. 245). In fact,
most of the community behind the Dead Sea Scrolls were
male unmarried celibates.

7... The Dead Sea Scrolls were not among "the earliest
Christian records" (see Da Vinci Book p. 235).
These are Jewish, with nothing Christian in them.

8... We have no idea about the lineage of Mary Magdalene;
nothing connects her with the "house of Benjamin". And even
if she were, this would'nt make her descendent of David.
see Da Vinci book p. 248).

9... Mary Mardalene was pregnant at the crucifixion?
That's a good one. (see Da Vinci book p.255).

10.. The Q document is not a surviving source being
hid by the Vatican, nor is it a book allegedly writtten
by Jesus himself. It's a hypothetical document that
scholars have posited as having been available to
Matthew and Luke, principally a collection of the
sayings of Jesus. Roman Catholic scholars think the
same of it as non-Catholics; there's nothing
secretive about it( see Da Vinci book p. 256)

(abstracted from the book:
Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:24 AM   0 comments
EXPERTS ASK: IS FINGERPRINT IN PAINTING da VINCI'S?
ROME---
It's an artistic mystery whose hottest clue
is a fingerprint.

"The Adoration of the Christ Child" is attributed
to Fra Bartolomeo, but a newly discovered fingerprint
in the paint, along with stylistic similarities,
are making experts think of Leonardo da Vinci, who
sometimes left an imprint on his works as a sort of
signature.

Near the completion of the painting's year long restoration,
"a king of yellowish halo could be seen in the sky in the
upper left", the chief restorer, Elisabetta Zatti,
said Tuesday, describing the fingerprint she found.

Attribution of the painting has long been in question,
and some illustrations names have come up through the
centuries -- Raphael, Ghirlandaio, Lorenzo di Credi.

The key may lie in Krakow, Poland, where a Leonardo
master piece, "Lady with an Ermine", bears the Renaissance
master's fingerprint. Photos of the "Adoration" will be
flown there next month for comparison.

Hands a hallmark of Leonardo

Leonardo was big on code. He wrote backwards in his
notebooks and used such symbols as wild primrose,
which represnets resurrection, and the blue veronica flower,
symbol of the eyes of the Virgin Mary, Primrose and veronica
have shown up in the restored "Adoration".

The work, hanging in Rome's Galleria Borghese, is believed
to have been painted in the late 15th century or early 16th
and depicts Joseph and Mary gazing down at the infant Jesus.

Perhaps the msot striking revelation are Mary's large and
somewhat masculine hands, a hallmark of many female figures
in Leonardo's work.

Alessandro Vezzosi, the director of a museaum dedicated to
Leonardo near Florence who was not involved in the restoration,
said the discovery was interesting, but cautioned that more
research was needed.

(abstracted from CHISUNTIME/
Associated Press/ Marta Falconi)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:05 AM   0 comments
AUCTIONS.... AUCTIONS.... AUCTIONS
$96,000 ROCKER HIGHLIGHTS KENNEDY AUCTION

NEW YORK --
An oak rocking chair that President John F. Kennedy
used to rest his bad back sold for $96,000 to an
anonymous telephone bidder tuesday at the opening of a
three day auction of property from the Kennedy family homes.

The bidding at Sotheby's showroom was brisk, with many lots
selling from 10 20 times their presale estimates.

"For whatever reason, I've always been fascitnated
with Kenneydy," said Doug Ellis of Princeton, NJ., who
paid $1,560 for a pair of brass candlesticks from the
Kennedy's home in Hyannis Port, Mass. "I probably have
600 books about the Kennedys."

$100 sugar bowl goes for $7,200

The auction was expected to be more modest in scope than
a 1996 Kennedy sale at Sotheby's that brought in $34.5 million,
including $2.5 million for Jacqueline Kennedy's engagement
ring from Aristotle Onasis.

The 700 plus lots in the current sale include collection of
ordinary object such as magazines, records and glass jars.

Bidding on most items Tuesday started at way over the auction
house's conservative estimates. A sugar bowl estimated at
$100 to $150 sold for $7,500, and a group of assorted baskets
worth $150 to $250 fetched at $1,560.

Stephen "Skippy" Weinstein, a trial lawyer from New Vernon, NJ,
paid $18,000 for a red flannel blanket monogrammed "JFK".

"I just admired him so much", said Weinstein, who worked as
an aide to a U.S. senator during the Kennedy administration.

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIMES/
Assocciated Press/Karen Matthews)

*******************************


AN AUCTION SUPREME

ATTICS ARE EMPTYING, IT SEEMS, AS THE
FAMILIES OF JAZZ
greats prepare to sell off
their heirlooms at Guernsy's in New York City on Feb. 20,
in the auction ever devoted to the genre. To raise money
for jazz charities, museum curators will compete with
online eBay bidders for some 430 lots, these treasures.

*** LIONEL HAMPTON'S VIBRAPHONE
Originally a drummer, Hampton experimented with
instruments during a 1930 studio session with
Louis Armstrong. His custom made Vibraphone is now
Estimated:$40,000.

*** THELONIOUS MONK'S JACKET
Custom made smoking jacket with velvet lapels
was one of Monk's favorites on stage and off.
Estimate: $20,000.

*** BENNY GOODMAN'S CLARINET
The swing era bandleader's 1974 Selmer B Flat clarinet
comes with reeds he used. Proceeds goes to his
foundation for jazz scholarships.
Estimate: $100,000.

*** JOHN COLTRANE'S SHEET MUSIC
The original manuscript of A Love Supreme
showing how the saxophonists sketched out the
1964 classic.
Estimate: $100,000.

*** MILES DAVIS' PAINTING
Late in life the trumpeter got serious about
the visual arts. Inspired by a movement of
colorful art in Milan, Davis found acclaim
as a painter in Spain and Japan.
Estimate: $30,000.

(abstracted from TIMEMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:36 AM   0 comments
Thursday, February 17, 2005
BUTTING OUT ON A GLOBAL SCALE
JET SETTERS HEADING TO CUBA
next week for the annual Havana Cigar Festival
need not panic, although the home of the Cohiba
banned smoking in enclosed public places on Feb 7,
festival venues will be excempt. Despite a lax
kickoff in Cuba, similar bans in other countries
have managed to clear the air:

Italy
On Jan. 10, smoking was banned in enclosed public
places except in separately ventilated rooms. A week
later, a police sweep of 1,263 bars and restaurants
turned up only nine violators.

Says a Roman: "I am for the ban because it helps me
smoke less." As proof, cigarette sales nationwide
are down 23percent.

Bhutan
This Himalayan nation became the first to prohibit not
only smoking in public, but also all sales of tobacco.
In a kingdom with few smokers (owing in part to a local
belief that traces the tobacco plant's origin to a she-devil),
the black market price of a pack of Marlboro has doubled,
to $2.60, since the ban took effect in December.

Ireland
The Emerald Isle last March became the first country to
ban smoking in virtually all workplaces, including pubs.
The Office of Tobacco Control,in a six month update, reported
94% compliance. A hotline for snitchers still gets up to
50 calls a week.

India
Enforcement has been slack since smoking was banned in
public places last May along with most tobacco ads. When
asked how many fines have been issued, a spokelsman for
the New Delhi police snaps, "Speak to the government directly.
They pass these laws.We assume they have officers to enforce
these laws as well".

(abstracted from TIMEMAG/by: Julie Rawe)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:56 AM   0 comments
NUMBERS.... NUMBERS.... NUMBERS.... NUMBERS !!!!
$60.3 Billion
The overall U.S. trade deficit
in November, an all time high.

1.5 million
Number of jobs lost from 1989
to 2003 that are attributed to
increased trade with China.

16%
Increase in the monthly risk
to doctor trainees of getting
in a car wreck on the way home
after a 24-hour plus shift.

36%
Increase in medical errors made
by interns during such marathon
shifts, a hallmark of medical
training in the U.S.

$170 million
Amount the FBI has spent computerizing
its case-file database, which proved
so inadequate in a three-month test run
that the agency may scrap the whole
project.

$2 million
Amount the FBI is paying a separae
computer firm to determine whether
any of the software is salvageable.

20 percent
Percentage of people who say they
think most creatively in their cars.

5 percent
Percentage of people who say they
think most creatively in the shower.

$427 billion
U.S. budget deficit predicted for 2005,
the highest ever and equal to 3.5%
of the gross domestic product.

$80 billion
Supplemental military budget requested
by Pres. Bush for 2005, which would bring
total U.S. spending on the war in Iraq
to more than $200 billion by year's end.

$250 million
Estimated amount the Bush administration
spent on contracts with major public
relations agencies from 2001 through 2004.

$128 million
Amount the Clinton Administration spent
on contracts with major public ralations
agencies during the previous four years.

$300
Market price, before the tsunami to rent
a house with indoor plumbing in Banda Aceh,
Indonesia, for one month.

$4,000
Current market price, due to increased
demand from aid workers and journalists.

$12,420
Amount the military issues to survivors
of troops killed on duty.

$100,000
Amount the Pentagon has proposed for
this "death benefit".

$267,494
Amount the Federal Government issues
to survivors of police officers
killed on duty.

2,200 percent
Increase in U.S. bankcruptcies caused
by illness or medical debt from 1981 to 2001.

74 percent
Proportion who say people should not be
allowed to burn or deface an American
flag as a political statement.

1963
The last year, prior to last week's
municipal elections in Riyadh, that
Saudi Arabia held a public election.

640
Number of candidates who ran for Riyadh's
seven open city-council seats.


(abstracted from NUMBERS/TIMEMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:31 AM   0 comments
FATIMA VISION SISTER DIES
LISBON, PORTUGAL
Sister Lucia Marto, the last of the three
children who claimed to have seen the
Virgin Mary in a series of 1917
apparations in the town of Fatima,
has died. Portuguese media reported.
She was 97.

Sister Lucia, a Roman Catholic nun
had been ill for the past three
months, and died Sunday.

(abstracted from the DAILYHEARLD)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:21 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
WHAT DOES 5 HOURS OF KISSING GET YOU? FREE TRIP
It was'nt their luck that won Alison Wegner
and Michael Bergolina a free trip to Mexico,
it was their lips.

The couple kissed for about five hours on Monday
morning as part of Valentine's Day competition
to see who could walk away with a four night trip
to a romantic Mexico resort.

"We were just kissing and kissing and kissing".
said Wegner. "We could have gone longer."

Wegner and Bergolina, both 25, beat out 13 other
couples in the kissing contest. They also had to
fend off golf balls and Frisbees being thrown at
them, as well as surprise sirens trying to conjure
up a scare.

After writing in to the station, the couples were
chosen to join the "Tom and Lisa Morning Show"
on WIIL 95.1 -FM on Monday in Antioch.

The winners are engaged.

"We never thougth we'd win this, but now we can
use it as a first anniversary trip." Wegner said.

(abstracted from DAILYHERALD by: Sara Faiwell)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:43 AM   0 comments
A HEADLESS KING, 32 WIDOWS AND A SUCCESSION BATTLE IN THE MAKING
YENDI,Ghana
It was terrible enough that the beloved king
was murdered and his head paraded on a spear,
casuing 32 widows to weep at the mere mention
of his name.

Or that more than two years later, his headless
body still languishes in a tiny hospital morgue.

The feud that killed the king of Dagbon has tooked
havoc across the dust-blown fields of this northern
Ghana kingdom. But family members say it's nothing
compared with the war of succession they anticipate
once the king is finally buried.

For 600 years the Abudu and Andani clans -- named
after two sons of the ancient Dagbon king-- cordially
rotated control of the kingdom, centered in Yendi,
330 miles north of Accra, the capital.

Dagbon, half the size of Rhode Island with 1 million
people, is one eight traditional kingdoms in this
West African repulic.

Kings, democracy co-exist

A 30 year old power struggle between the clan ignited
in March 2002, when Abudu warriors brandishing spears,
bows and arrows, and guns stormed the palace and
slaughtered the 66 year old Andani king, Ya-Na Yakubu
and 30 clan elders.

The sacred Dagbon palace-- two dozen mud huts inside
a walled compound -- was raked with bullets and burned down.
The king's head and arm went missing but mysteriously turned
up a week later, placed by persons unknown in the palace ruins.
They now lie beside the corpse.

Andani elders say the king can be buried when a nearly rebuilt
new palace is complete, with a pavilion where he can lie in state.

They will then name a successor-- most likely a son.

But the Abudu contend that since the king is dead -- never
mind that they killed him --it's their turn to appoint a successor.

That would likely be Mahamadu Abdulai, the 20 year old Abudu
chief from Yendi, whose residents say, was taken out of school
and given three wives and a cadre of elders, who pamper him for majesty.

Tensions over the regicide are sending ripples across modern
Ghana, a democracy trying to make its economic niche with high
tech call centers. Kings and chiefs have autonomy over their
areas, but many find it hard to keep modern politics at bay.

A government panel investigating the kiling has achieved little.

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIMES/Associted Press/Bryan Mealer)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:25 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
BROKEN HEART
I HAD ALWAYS ASSUMED THAT A BROKEN HEART
was just a metaphor, a cliche of country music and romance
novels. So I was as surprised as anyone to learn last week
that doctors now consider it a real medical event,
one that can kill.

The news comes from a report published in the
New England Journal of Medicine in which physicians
at Johns Hopkins described a group of 18 mostly older women
and one man who developed serious heart problems after
experiencing a sudden emotional shock, such as the death of
a loved one, or in the case of one 60 year old woman,
a surprise birthday party.

What surprised the doctors who examined these patients was
that none of them had actually suffered a heart attack.
Indeed, few had any sings of heart disease at all.
Yet at least five of the 19-- and perhaps more -- would have
died without treatment, according to Dr. Ilan Wittstein,
the cardiologist who led the study.

What was going on? To get to the bottom of it, Wittstein
and his colleagues measured the levels of catecholamines --
the family of stress hormones that includes adrenalin --
that their parents were producing. In each case they found
high levels of stress hormones -- up to 34 times as great
as normal levels and two to the three times as great as
those typically seen during severe heart attackes.

It's still unclear whether the hormones caused the cardiacs
problems or were caused by them. Nor can doctors explain
why women's hearts seen more vulnerable than men's .
"Men typically produce higher levels of catecholamines in
response to a stressful event than women do," Wiitsetin says.
"So if you had to guess, you'd guess that men would have
this problem than women".

The good news about the condition doctors are calling the
broken-heart syndrome is that it's reversible -- provided
the inital shock isn't too great. And repeat occurences
appear to be uncommon, no matter how many surprise bithday
parties they throw you.

(abstracted from YOURTIME/ by Christine Gorman)

CAN FOOD LIFT YOUR SPIRITS?
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and uridine can
-- at least in rats. These mood molecules are found
in fish, walnuts and molasses and are as effective
as drugs in treating depression in rodents.
People too, probably: fish-eating cultures tend
to have lower rates of depression.


(abstracted from YOURTIME)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:14 PM   0 comments
SAUDIS FIND WAYS TO MARK BANNED VALENTINE'S DAY
Gifts for lovers must be bought
on black market


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--
In gift and flower shops across Saudi Arabia,
the flush of red has started to fade.

Each year shortly before Feb. 14, the country's
religious police mobilize, heading out to hunt for
-- and confiscate -- red roses, red teddy bears and
any signs of a heart. In a country where Valentine's Day
is banned, ordinary Saudis find they must skirt the law
to spoil their sweetheart.

The Valentine's Day holiday celebrating love and lovers
is banned in Saudi Arabia, where religious authorities
call it a Christian celebration true Muslims should shun.

The kingdom's attitude toward Valentine's Day is in line
with the strict school of Islam followed here for a century.
All Christian and even most Muslim feasts are banned in the
kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, because they are considered
unorthodox creations that Islam does not sanction.

Beyond the ban, it is a challenge for unmarried couples to be
together on Valentine's Day or any other day because of strict
segregation of the sexes. Dating consists of long phone
conversations and the rare tryst.

Men and women cannot go for a drive together, have a meal or
talk on the street unless they are close relatives. Infractions
are punished by detentions.

Valentine's items descend underground, to the black market,
where their price triples and quadruples. Salesmen and waiters
avoid wearing red. Though taboo, Valentine's Day still gets
a fair amount of attention in Saudi society.

In religious lectures at schools, teachers and administrators
warn students against marking the occasion, noting Saint Valetine
was a Christian priest, said an educational supervisor speaking
on condition of anonymity.

The supervisor said that on Valentine's Day last year, girls
lining up for daily morning prayer were inspected head to toe by
teachers looking for violations of rules that ban wearing or
carrying any read item on the day.

Ribbons, boots, jackets, bags and pen holders with a hint, stripe
and hot pink were thrown into a heap, and the school called the
girls mothers to pick up the offensive items, the supervisor said.

Despite the restrictions, Valentine's Day has caught on, partly due
to satellite TV, where the occasion, like other holidays, is worked
into the programming fare.

In most cases the gifts are not presented on Valentine's Day. A woman
may not get permission from her parents to go out that night, and
stores donot want to be saddled with the incriminating items when
the muttawa begin making their rounds. Shops either deliver the gifts
or call recipients a few days early and ask them to pick up their presents.

Restaurants also are warned against creating a Valentine's atmosphere.
One waiter, looking at his red apron and read placement mats, said he
worried what the muttawa's reaction would be if they dropped by on Feb. 14

As the holiday neared, a Saudi woman, swathed in black with only her
eyes showing, circled a huge, red teddy bear at a shop, wondering if
the plastic flowers stuck in the crook of its arms were too tacky.

She wanted this Valentine's Day to be perfect. She had ordered 100 red
roses to be delieverd to her husband of a few weeks, bought him the
largest size bar of his favorite chocolate and planned to surprise
him with a dinner party at her parents house.

But there was one hitch: She had made her plans for Feb. 12, mistakenly
thinking that was Valentine's Day. ASked if she still wanted to mark the
occasion then, she said in an excited voice, "Yes, I cant' wait two more days."

(abstracted from DAILYHERALD/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 5:30 AM   0 comments
SELECTED LIST OF WINNERS FROM THE 47TH GRAMMY AWARDS
Album of the year
"Genius Loves Company"
Ray Charles

Record of the Year
"Here We Go Again"
Ray Charles and Norah Jones

Song of the year
"Daughters," John Mayer,
songwriter (John Mayer)

Best new artist
Maroon 5

Best pop vocal album
"Genius Loves Company"
Ray Charles

Best female pop vocal performance
"Sunrise" Norah Jones

Best male pop vocal performance
"Daughters,"John Mayer

Best pop perfromance
by duo or group

"Heaven" Los Lonely Boys

Best traditional pop
vocal album

"Stardust..The Great American Songbook Vol III"
Rod Stewart

Best rock album
"American Idiot", Green Day

Best rock song
"Vertigo", Bono,Adam Clayton,
The Edge and Larry Mullen,
songwriters (U2)

Best solo rock performance
"Code of Silence"
Bruce Springsteen

Best rock perfromace by a
duo or group with vocal

"Vertigo", U2

Best hard rock performance
"Slither", Velvet Revolver

Best metal performance
"Whiplash", Motorhead

Best alternative music album
"A Ghost is Born", Wilco

Best R&B album
"You Don't Know My name"
Alicia Keys, Harold Lilly and
Kanye West, songwriters(Alicia Keys)

Best female R&B performance
"If I Ain't Got You", Alicia Keys

Best male R&B performance
"Call My Name", Prince

Best R&B performance
by a duo or group with vocals

"My Boo," Usher and Alicia Keys

Best rap album
"The College Dropout"
Kanya West

Best rap song
"Jesus Walks", Miri Ben Ari,
C. Smith and Kanye West
songwriters(Kanye West)

Best rap performace by
a duo or group

"Let Get It Started"
Black Eyed Peas

Best rap solo performance
"99 Problems", Jay-Z

Best rap/sung collaboration
"Yeah!", Usher with Lil Jon
and Ludacris

Best country album
"Van Lear Rose", Loretta Lynn

Best country song
"Live Like You Were Dying",
Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman
songwriters (Tim McGraw)

Best female country performance
"Redneck Woman"
Gretchen Wilson

Best country performance
by a duo or group

"Top of the World"
Dixie Chicks

Best Latin pop album
"Amir Sin Mentiras",
Marc Anthony


(Abstracted from DAILYHERALD/ARTS)
posted by infraternam meam @ 5:05 AM   0 comments
Monday, February 14, 2005
PHONE-Y FLOWERS
SO GLUED TOypur cellphone that
you don't have time to stop and smell the flowers?
That may change with a new "green" model that could
hit the market within a year.

How it works: These environmentally friendly gadgets
have blodegradable casings that disintegrate in soil
or compost in a matter of weeks and yield flowers in
the process. Who's behind it: a team of British scientists
working with American electronics giant Motorola,
which helped fund the research.

As people constantly upgrade in favor of the latesr color,
design or capability, finding ways to recylce consumer tech
products makes sense, says project manager Perter Morris
of PVAXX Research and Developemnt in Cirencester, England.
Hundreds of millions of cellphones are sold globally each year,
and most castaways end up in landfills. With a green phone,
instead of tossing the specially designed polymer casing,
you plant it.


An embedded seed, visible in the phone's clear plastic
window, germinates as the casing disintegrates. Dwarf
sunflowers were used initially, but other flower options
likely will be availbale.

What next -- a computer that sprouts tree?

(abstracted from USATODAYMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:11 PM   0 comments
NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S PEARLS
FORGET THE conservative white
strands favored by debutantes in the 60's. Today's
pearls come in all shapes and sizes and a spectrum
of colors. Mikimoto originator of the modern
cultured-pearl process used for more than a century,
is showcasing pearls in bold new designs, with colors
ranging from golden greenish black. New technology has
cut the time needed to grow a pearl under 3 1/2 years
(vs. many times that long naturally) and allowed
cultivators to produce the vivid hues. To ensure
each pearl's perfection in the cloning-like process,
"we (create) not only the pearl, but the oyster as well,"
says Robert Artlett, a senior VP of Mikimoto America,
a subsidiary of the Japanese company. Still the best
way to tell genuine cultured pearls from the faux variety?
Gently run them across your teeth. They should feel gritty.


(abstracted from USATODAYMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:04 PM   0 comments
Sunday, February 13, 2005
THE WORLD'S TEN WORST DICTATORS
(The following list has been prepared after
consultation with Human Rights Watch, Freedom House,
Amnesty International and Reporters Without Boders --
human-reights groups that have not hesitated to
expose the policies of dictatorships on both left
and the right.)


1... Omar al-Bashit, Sudan. Age 61.
in power since 1989
Last year's rank: 7


A colossal humanitarian tragey in western Sudan's
Darfur region has uprooted 2 million activities of
government supported militias. This is nothing new
in Sudan, where Omar al-Bashir, its dictator, has
engaged in ethnic and religious persecution since
seizing power in a military coup. Sudan has 6 million
internally displaced persons -- more than any other
nation. In southern Sudan, where Christianity and
traditional religions are practiced, Bashir tried to
impose Islamic law in a campaing that included aerial
bombing of villages and enslavement of what some called
a civil war between Muslims and Christians.
(In Darfur, meanwhile, he has been killing Muslims.)
Last month, Bashir signed a cease fire with rebels of
the south. It allows government troops to remain in
southern Sudan and prohibits southerners from voting for
indepenence for six years.

2... Kin Jong Il, North Korea, Age 62.
in power since 1994.
Last year's rank: 1


Kim Il Jong slipped from first place, but not
for want of trying. North Korea still ranks last
in Reporters Without Borders internationl index
press freedom, and it earned Freedom House's worst
score for political rights and civil liberties for
the 33rd straight year (a world record). The Ministry
of People's Security places spies in workplaces and
neighborhoods to inform if anyone who citicizes the
regime, even at home. All radios and TV sets are fixed
to received only government stations. Disloyalty to
Kim Jong Il and his later father, Kim Il Sung,
is a punishable crime. Offense include allowing pictures
of either leader to gather dusts or be torn or be folded.
The population is divided into "loyalty groups".
One third belong to the "hostile class". These people
receive the worst jobs and housing and may not live in
the capital , Pyongyang. Below the hostiles are the
estimated 250,000 held in prison camps, some for crimes
allegedly committed by relatives. Executions oftern are
performed in public.


3... Than Shwe, Burma.
Age 22, In Power sice 1992.
Last year's rank:2


In response to world opinion, Gen. Than Swe
freed 9000 prisoners, but hopes for a new
liberalism faded when only 40 were political
detainees(among more than 1000 still being held.)
The rest were common ciriminals. Than Shwe extended
the house arrest of Nobel Peace Prize winner
Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won 80 % of the vote
in the last election (1990). The arrest of opposiition
members resumed. Freedom of expression is not allowed;
unlicesned possession fo a fax machine is not allowed.
To relocate ethnic minorities, the army destroyed
3000 villages and drove 1.2 million Burmnese from
their homes. IN a landmark case, Unocal Corp. of
California agreed to pay damages to Burmeses villagers
who said the military used torture, rape or murder to
force them to work on the company's pipeline.


4...Hu Jintao, China. age 62,
in power since 2002
Last year's rank: 3


Despite China's economic liberalization, President Hu Jintao's
government remains one of the most repressive. Some 250,000
Chinese are serving sentences in "re-education and labor camps".
China executes more people than all other nations combined,
often for nonviolent crimes. The death penalty can be given
for burglary, embezzlement, counterfeiting, bribery or
killing panda. Hu's government controls all media and Internet
use. Defense lawyers who argue too vigorously for cleints rights
may be disbarred or imprisoned. And if minorities
such as Tibetans) speak out for autonomy, they're labeled
"terrorists" imprisoned and tortured.


5... Crown Prince Abdullah,
Saudi Arabia. Age 81.
in power since 1995
Last year's rank:5


Bending under strong internaional pressure,
Crown Prince Abdullah and his family, who have
absolute power, are holding Saudi Arabia's first
elections in 40 years-municipal elections,that is.
Women may not vote or run for office, owing to
"technical difficulties". Most Saudi women don't
have the photo IDs needed to register, there aren't
enough female officials to register those who do;
and men may not register women, because the sexes
are forbidden to mingle in public. Worldwide, the
royal family promotes an extreme form of Islam
called Wahhabism, which considers all followers of
other religions--even other Muslims -- "infidels".
In 2004, the U.S. State Department added Saudi Arabia
to its list of nations in which religious liberty
is severely violated.


6...Muammar al-Qaddafi,Libya
Age 62. in power since 1969.
Last year's rank: Dishonorable mention


Increasingly annoyed by other Arab leaders,
Qaddafi -- once considered supporter of terrosrim -
has gone to great lengths to re-establish links
with the West. He turned over a perpetrator of 1988
teroritst bombing of an American commerical flight
over Lockerbie, Scotland, and made substantial payments
to families of the victims of both the Lockerbie bombing
and that of a French plane. He gave his nuclear weapons
program and is opening his nation's economy to foregin
investment. Yet at home he continues to run a brutal
dictatorship, maintaining total control over all aspects
of Libyan life. Freedom of speech, assembly and religions
are harshly restricted. Entire families, tribes and even
towns can be punished for "collective guilt". Political
opposition and damaging public or private property are
considered "crimes against the state".


7... Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan.
Age 61. In power since 1999
Last Year's rank: Not mentioned


Two years after seizing power in a military coup
that overthrew an elected government,
Gen. Pervez Musharraf appointed himself president
of Pakistan. He recently agreed to step down as head
of the military, then reversed his decision, claiming
that he was best suited to unite Pakistan's contentious
political and military elements. "The country is more
important than democracy", he said. Pakistan has
endangered the world by spreading nuclear technoliogy.
Last year, it was discovered that Abdul Qadeer Khan,
head of Pakistan's nuclear weapon's program, had been
selling nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran.
As for civil liberties in Pakistan, a woman who has been
raped may present her case only if she can produce four
muslim men who witnessed that attack.


8... Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan.
Age 64. In power since 1990
Last year's rank: 8


Niyazov has developed an overbearing personality
cult that crushes dissent and invades all aspects
of life in Turkmenistan, no matter how trivial.
He controls his one party state with torture,
disappearances, detentions, house demolitions,
forced labor and exile. He muzzels all media, and
it is illegal to criticize any of his policies.
Statues of Niyazpov appears everywhere, and his
picture is on all denominations of money. His
"moral guide", Rukhnama (Book of the Soul),
is required reading for students, married couples
and even applications for a driver's license.
Female newscasters may not wear makeup, nor may young
man wear beard, long hair and gold teeth.


9... Robert Mugabe,Zimbabwe.
Age 90, in power since 1980.
Last year's rank:4


After leading an anti-colonial war of liberation,
Mugabe was elected Zimbabwe's first prime minister,
raiging hopes for a new era of democracy. But he has
turned increasingly dictatorial and run his country
into the ground. Average life expectacny in Zimbabwe
is 33 years-- among the lower in the world. One of
Mugabe's many repressive laws deems it a crime
"to make an abusive, indecent or obscene statement"
about him. He continues to hold elections, but opposition
is discouraged. Looking toward a vote in March, the
parliament passed a law banning from Zimbabwe any
human-rights or civil liberties group that recieves
money from abroad. In other words, independent elections
monitors will not be allowed.


10..Teodoro Obiang Nguema,
Equatorial New Guinea. Age 62.
In power since 1979.
Last year's rank"6


Since major oil reserves were discovered there in 1995,
U.S. oil companies have poured $5 billion into this tiny
West African nation.Most of the oil income goes to
President Obiang and his family, while the mojority
of his people live on less than $1 a day. Some Americans
oil companies are being investigated for improprieties
involving Obiang. The U.S. State Department has accused
Obinag's government of committing torture. In Novembr,
20 peopke-- including 11 foreign nationals were sentenced
to prison for an alledged coup attempt. The only evidnece
agaisnt them, say Amnesty International were confessions
extracted through tortures.


(abdtracted from PARADE MAG/CHITRIBUNE by: David Wallechinsky)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:38 PM   0 comments
Friday, February 11, 2005
EVEN PENGUINS PAY FOR LOVE
In animal kingdom, prostitution another
birds, bees story


When a man lavishes his lady friend with sweets,
flowers and dinner on Valentine's Day, we call it love.

When a woman insists on material gain before surrendering
her favors, we call it something else.

But prostitution isn't limited to the human species.
Even in the animal kingdom, where such shenanigans go back
millions of years, it "seems to live up to its reputation
as the oldest profession," says an article in the
February/March issue of National Wildlife magazine.

For example, a female decorated cricket won't have sex
with a male until he delivers his bag of sperm inside
an edible gelatinous mass.


"It's like a ball inside a catcher's mitt", Scott Sakaluk,
a behavioral ecologist at Illinois State Unviersity in Normal,
told the Sun Times. "The mitt is a food gift."

When she mounts him, the male cricket attaches the package
to her genitalia so a tube can drain sperm into her body.
She bends around, tears off the meal portion and starts eating.

Actually, the gift is of little value.

"It's like a big Gummy Bear". Sakaluk said, "It excites her
taste receptors, but it's not very nutritious at all."

The male must not cheat, however. If the meal is to small it
won't keep the female busy for the 50 to 55 minutes it takes
to fully inseminate her, and she'll eat the sperm ball as well.

Mate known to eat their dates

The stakes are even higher for dance flies. If the male does'nt
treat her to dinner, he becomes the meal, said University of
Illinois entomologist Gilbert Waldbauer.

"BUt in some dance flies, the gift has evoled into a ritualistic
and purely symbolic gesture,"He said.

The meal is another insect gift wrapped in a silk balloon,
but some guy flies have found they can get away with presenting
an empty balloon.

"Why she accepts it, nobody knows," Waldbauer said.

Not every kind of insect is so lucky. Praying mantises are
among the species whose males, if it's unlikely they will find
another mate, let themselves be eaten to give female more energy
to make eggs.

"The best thing be can do is become a meal for his mate,"
Waldbauer said, "It's the ultimate gift".

Stones are traded for affection
Diamonds, of course, may be a girl's best friend, but
Lady Adelie penguins prefer real rocks.

They need them to keep their eggs dry and off the cold
ground, and will leave their mates and offer themselves
to single male in return for stones.

Sometimes, like a hooker ripping off a drunken john,
a bird will make off with a stone before the male can
have his way with her.

Fiona Hunter, a University of Sheffield, England zoologist
told the National Wildlife. "It's as if she takes the money and run".

(abstracted from CHISUNTIMES/by: Gary Wisby/
Enviroment Reporter)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:52 AM   0 comments
GIRL, 16, SCALPED, ALLEGEDLY BY PAL WHO CALLED HER UNFIT FOR MOHAWK
BOISE, Idaho--A 16-year old girl,
was allegedly tied up and scalped with a 4-inch knife
in what police say may have been an act of revenge
by another woman.

The girl, who had a punk-style mohawk haircut before
the attack, is recovering at home. Doctors could not
reattach her scalp, which was found near a hot spring.

Police searched for Marianne Dahle, 26, who disappeared
after the Jan. 18 attack at Kirkham Hot Springss, about
70 miles from Boise.

"When I say this gal was scalped, she was truly scalped,"
said Chief Deputy Bill Braddock. "The top of her head,
her hair, was completely cut off."

Dahle and the victim, whose name was not released, were
long time acquaintances, and hung out with a punk clique,
he said.

"The motive as near as we've been told by witnesses,
was retaliation for acting in a way that the adult perceived
as being offensive to women as a gender," Braddock said.
"According to their creed, if you disrespect women you are
not allowed to wear a mohawk."

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIME/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:43 AM   0 comments
Thursday, February 10, 2005
A WORLD OF PARTS
Icon of the 1960's British automobile Industry,
the old Mini was once a favorite ride of all four
of the Beatles. Now German carmaker BMW owns the
brand since 2001 has produced a new Mini in England
with parts from companies based around the world.


Where do the pieces really come from?
a selection of the Mini's parts reveals the popular
little car's complicated global pedigree. Automakers
are increasingly turning to international outsourcing
to remain competitive. The growing complexity of car
designs means there are more parts to find. The mini's
own 250 available options -- from chrome plated roll
bars to rain sensors that automatically start the
windshields wipers -- allow for some 50,000 unique
configuration.

Front and rear bumpers is made in U.K.
Diesel engine is made in Japan
Gasoline engine is made in Brazil
Grille is made in Germany
Hood is made in the Netherlands
Windhsield is made in Belgium
Headliner is made in U.K.
Outside mirrors is made in Germany
Seats is made in U.K.
Exhaust system is made in U.K.
Wheel bearings is made in U.K.
Wheels is made in Germany

DRIVING THE ECONOMY
Countries all over the world are gearing up their
manufacturing to take advantge of expected new
markets for automobile sales -- in their own backyards.
Some may soon need more roads and fresh source of fuel.

Projected Annual Sales for Cars and
Light Commercial Vehicles


UNITED STATES
2005: 17,048,000
2010: 17,796,000

CHINA
2005: 5,022,000
2010: 7,312,000

BRAZIL
2005: 1,564,000
2010: 1,937,000

INDIA
2005: 1,353,000
2010: 2,373,000

SOUTH KOREA
2005: 1,240,000
2010: 1,693,000

(abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/
nationalgeographic,com/magazine/0502.)
posted by infraternam meam @ 5:12 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
FOUR YEAR OLD DRIVES MOM'S CAR TO VIDEO STORE AT 1:30 a.m.
SAND LAKE , Michigan --
A boy drove his mother's car to a video store
in the middle of the night, police said--
and he's all of 4 years old.

Even though he was unable to reach the accelerator,
the boy managed to put the car in gear and the idling
engine provided enough power to take him slowly to the
store, a quarter mile from his home, about 1:30 a.m.
Friday, Police Chief Dough Heugel said. Finding the
store closed, the youngster began a slow trip home.

Weaving and with its headlights off, the car got the
attention of Police Sgt. Jay Osga, who initally
thought he was following a driverless car that had taken
off after being left running at a gas pump.

The car turned into the boy's apartment complex and struck
two parked cars, then back up and struck Osga's police car.

That'w when Osga discovered the boy inside.

"He knew how to go from forward to reverse",
Osga said Monday. "The mother said she taught him how to
drive by letting him sit on her lap and steer.".

No charges will be filed against the boy or his other. Heugel said.

"He's 4 years old. His mom did'nt even know he was up,"
Heugel told the Grand Rapids Press.
"I don't think he even realize what he did."

(abstracted from CHISUNTIME/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:14 AM   0 comments
LOVE SONGS...THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE QUIRKY AND THE CHEESY
They are the songs that make us laugh, cry
and reminisce-- all in three minutes.
They are the lonve songs.

The'll creep on the radio, be pumped into
restaurants and seep into our consicousness
as Valentine's Day gets closer. But we have a
love/hate relationship with them that creates
a slippery slope from classic to elevator music,
and the difference is just a bad verse or two.

"A good love song is a song that relates to a
moment in time for an individual", says Melissa Forman,
a morning radio personalaity for WLIT (93.( FM)
"Whether you are going to through a breakup or in the
best relationship of your life, that song holds a
special memeory for you."

It seems that even what we think are bad love songs have a place.

"Critics sometimes make fun of sentimental love songs
like 'Feelings', but that song obviously struck a chord in
a lot of listeners - it was a huge international hit - so,
to my way of thinking, it cannot be a bad love song,"
said Robin Frederick, a musician and historian.
"A bad love song is one that doesn't make anyone
feel anything".

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, here's our list with
help from Frederick, Forman and others -- of the greatest,
lamest and most overplayed love songs.

BEST OF THE BEST
"They Can't Take Away From Me", George and Ira Gershwin
"Crush", Dave Matthews Band
"Green Eyes", Coldplay
"Wonderful Tonight", Eric Clapton
"Let's Get It On", Marvin Gaye
"White Flag", Dido

CHEESIEST LOVE SONGS
"Everything I Do, I Do for You", Bryan Adams
"You Were My Strength When I was Weak," Celine Dion
"She's Like the Wind", Patrick Swayze
"This I Swear", Nick Lachey
"Archy Breaky Heart", Billy Ray Cyrus

BEST BREAKUP SONGS
"To Be a Good Woman", Cat Power
"Nothing Compare 2U," Sinead O'Connor
"Get Out", JoJo
"Power of Goodbye", Madonna
"I Will Remember You", Sarah McLachian
"How Do I Live", Lee Ann Rimes
"All By Myself", Eric Carmen

QUIRKIEST LOVE SONGS
"ideal Woman", William Shatner
"We're Going to be Friends", White Stripes
"I Touch Myself", The Divinyls
"Groovy Kind of LOve", Phil Collins
"Me So Hrony", 2 Live Crew

GREAT LOVE SONGS FROM FILMS
"The Blower's Daughter" Damien Rcie in "Closer"
"Take My Breath Away," Berlin in "Top Gun"
"Unchained Melody", Righteous Brothers from "Ghost"
"Ungry Eyes", Eric Carmen in "Dirty Dancing"

MOST OVERPLAYED LOVE SONG
"Cry Me A River", Justin Timberlake
"I will Always Love You," Whitney Houston
"Heart Will Gon On", Celine Dion
"Lady In Red", Chris Deburgh
"More Than Words", Extreme
"Wicked Games", Chris Isaak

CLASSIC WEDDING LOVE SONGS
"Wonderful World", Louis Armstrong
"We've Ony Just Begun", Carpenters
""At Last", Etta James
"Unforgettable", Nat King Cole
"It Had to Be You", Harry Connick, Jr.
"Can't Help Falling in Love", Elvis Presley


(abstracted from CHISUNTIMES/by Lucio Guerrero)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:47 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
MARRIAGE
Engage yourself in these questions
about commitment customs and
celebrations around the world.


1. Of Alabama, West Virginia, California
and New York.

which state probibits marriage between first cousins?

2. In Berber Culture,which internal
organ is considered to be the embodiment of love?

3. What Color is a traditional Chinese
wedding dress? Why?

4. Name the traditional circle dance
often performed at Jewish Weddings.

5. Suttee refers to what Hindu practice
illegal in India?

6. What two countries were the first
to legalize same sex marriage?

7. In traditional Hopi culture, how does
a woman propose to a potential husband?

8. What vows do a bride and groom make
during a Thai Buddhist wedding?

9. Name the GreekGoddess of women and
marriage whose temple is in Italy.

10.Which U.S. state was last to remove
language banning interracial marriage from its laws?

11.Why is a Masai bride warned
not to look back when she leaves for her new
husband's home?

12. What does the symbolic marraige
of young girls to the Hindu god Vishnu prevent,
according to the Newar people of Nepal?

13. How many weddings take place
in Las Vegas, Nevada each year?

14. Name three ancient culturesin which
royal marriages between brothers and sisters were common
practice.

15. At what pointis marriage
finalized for members of Africa's Ndzundza Ndebele tribe?

16. Whose presence at a Catholic wedding
was required by the Council of Tent in 1563?

17. What do brides in Greece write on the
soles of their wedding shoes?

18. Who conducts a Quaker
wedding ceremony?

(Abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA by: Siobhan Roth and Jackie Pysarchuk)
****
***
**
*
Answers:

1. West Virginia
2. Liver
3. Red, it represents good luck and happiness
4. The Hora
5. A widow's immolation on her husband funeral pyre
6. The Netherlands in 2001 and Belgium in 2003
7. She bakes bread, if he accepts it, they are engaged
8. None
9. Hera
10.Alabama in 2000
11.She is told she will turn into stone
12.Stigma or widowhood or divorce
13.More than 100,000
14.Inca, Egyptian and Hawaiian societies
15.With a birth of a child
16.Priest and Witnesses
17.Names of unamarried friends,
those that rub off wil be the nest to marry
18.The bride and groom

posted by infraternam meam @ 1:42 AM   0 comments
MUSLIMS IN AMERICA
Islamic Centers or Mosque in America

1. San Francisco, California -- 36
2. San Jose, California ------- 37
3. Los Angeles, California ---- 86
4. Seattle, Washington -------- 20
5. Toronto, Canada------------- 75
6. Chicago, Illinois ---------- 74
7. Detroit, Michicagn---------- 82
8. Montreal, Canada ----------- 42
9. Mississaugua --------------- 46
10.Boston, Massachusettes------ 27
11.New York, New York --------- 128
12.Newark, New Jersey --------- 52
13.Washington , D.C.----------- 70
14.Atlanta, Georgia ----------- 33
15.Houston, Texas ------------- 30

Since September 11, 2001, when Islamist
terrorists attacked the U.S.a big spotlight
-- or a galaxy of small ones-- has been
shining on Muslims. Yet all this light
has not helped illuminate a simingly
simple question:
How many Muslims live in the U.S.?

Getting a reliable head count in the U.S.
is difficult because federal law prohibits
the Census Bureau from asking questions
about religion. Without comprehensive tally,
social scientists uses surveys. One study by
the Council on American-Islamic Relations
indentified 1,209 mosques -- including
Far-al-Islam's eductaion center in New Mexico
-- estimated the average attendance , then
calculated a national total.Using this method,
the council estimates that there are six million
to seven million Muslims in the U.S. Most academics,
though, put the population closer to two to three
million.

In Canada, where the census does track religious
affiliation, there are 579,600 muslim, or
2 percent of the population.)

Whatever the figure, the U.S. undoudbtedly has one
of the world's most ethnically diverse Muslim
communities. Most Islamic immigrants from South
Asia and the Middle East and the Muslim from birth,
whereas most African-American Muslims are converts
or "reverts"-- the spiritual descendants of Africans
whose Islamic roots were severed long ago by the slave trade.

Althoug this diversity creates some tensions, it also
presents historic opportunites, says Muqtedar Khan,
an Indian immigrant and author of

American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom.

African-American Muslims tends to focus on domestic
issues such as racisom and economic justice, Khan says,
while immigrants care more about life back home.
Yet despite the differences, "the American Muslim community
believes that it has a Divine Mission" --
to show that Islamic values are relevant to modern life.
If Muslims do that, he says, they can influence the West and
"reshapes the destiny of traditions of Muslim societies"

EThnic Composition of the Muslim Community in the U.S.

African -------------- 7 percent
African-American ----- 20 percent
Middle Eastern Arab--- 26 percent (37% Lebanese)
South Asian ---------- 34 percent (56% Pakistani)
Other ---------------- 12 percent
Unknown -------------- 1 percent

(abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/Geography of Everyday Life by:Alan Mairson)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:01 AM   0 comments
Sunday, February 06, 2005
HOW WE GOT....VALENTINE'S DAY
Dawn of Man
Eve says to Adam, "If you really loved me,
you'd eat from this apple," Adam is the first
man to learn a lesson: Women cause problem.

25000 B.C.
Cro-Magnon man offers Cro Magnon woman a
romantic fistful of mammoth intestines.
Then they do it sabertooth-style.

510 B.C.
Sugar is discovered in India by the Persians,
paving the way for gifts that are less expensive
than iron, bronze or necklaces.

1200 B.C.
The ancient Olmecs begin growing cocoa in Mexico.
Initially using it in religious ceremonies,
Olmecs men soon discover it to be a fast
acting conjugal stimulants.

Dark Ages
Lovers gather every Valentines's Day to exchange
festering buboes and bouquets of filth and clank
cast iron chastity belts against each other.

496 A.D.
Pope Gelasius I invents Valentine's Day, then
tries to no avail, to cannonize the patron saints
of insincere sentiments, false description of
sexual prowess.

296 A.D.
Catholic priest and martyr Valentine secretly weds
hundreds of couples from his prison cell during a
Roman ban on marriages. Less is known about Valentine's
relatiohsip with his cell mates, a 350 pound wine
bootlegger who called himself Bubbus.

170 A.D.
The book "the Golden Ass" introduces Cupid,
a fluttering fatso with love inducing arrows
and an infant's dinky.

1400s
For lovesick poets and their quivering quills,
February 14th was also believed to be the onset
of the mating season for pretty birs.

1700s
Handcrafted greeting cards become widespread
in Britain. By century's end, mass production
and cheap postage lead to printed Valentine's
Day card, which in turn leads to yet another
holiday the world's men would forget.

1725
Giovanni Casanova was born. He spends a lifetime
debasing countless women, confirming that one
does'nt need to pay for sex with frilly boxes
of candy. One need only have a lot of money,
an Italian name and a desire to die alone
and despised.

1866
Daniel Chase invents Sweethearts Conversation
Hearts. Man's quest for a rocklike flavorless
confection emblazoned with slogans comes to
its half won conclusion.

1989
Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini delivers Salman Rushdie
one of the history's touching Valentine's
$2.8 million bounty on his life for writing
"The Satanic Verses".

1929
The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: Al Capone's
love letter to rival "Bugs" Malone. Nothing says
"B mine!" like kissing your enemy's best men with
hot lead.

1910
J.C. Hall founder of Hallmark, sells his first
greeting cards in Kansas City, Missouri.
After almost a century, we still pay his
heirs to print the banal, cliched sentiments
we don't have the creativity or energy to come
up with ourselves.

1990
Millions of American schoolchildren exchange
cheap cartoon-character themed Valentines with everyone.

2005
The Greeting Card Association claims that Valentine's
Day is the biggest holiday of the yar after Christmas,
with a billion cards sent. It also claims that women
buy 85 percent of all valetines.

(abstracted from MAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:25 PM   0 comments
SHOCK VALUE
OIL:
Crude oil is the remains of ancient,
decayed plants and animals. It's pumped
out of the earth and refined into a bevy
of products,( kerosene, gas, jet fuel),
most of which we burn to make stuff move.
The Good:
It's versatile and easy to use.
The Bad:
Global warming, oil spills.
The Ugly:
It's the source of 40percent of U.S. energy,
yet more than 60percent of it comes from
other countries...who hates the U.S.

COAL:
It's made of swamp plants, compacted for
millions of years under extreme heat and
pressure, and it supplies over half of
U.S. electricity.
The Good:
The energy content of U.S. coal resources
exceeds that of all the world's known recoverable oil.
The Bad:
It pollutes like a mofo.
The Ugly:
It's nasty stuff. Power plants that burn it gives
off more radioactive crap than nuclear plants.

NATURAL GAS:
Comes from the same place as oil.
Underground pockets of the gas are tapped
and filtered, then burned in electric plants
or as heating/cooking fuel.
The Good:
It's the cleanest fossil fuel.
The Bad:
Transporting this odorless, colorless gas
is tricky and expensive.
The Ugly:
While uncommon, natural gas explosions
caused by leaks hvae destroyed homes and
killed lots of people.

NUCLEAR:
This is just the geeked-up way of
creating heat. Nuclear fission happens
when uranium atoms are bombarded with
high velocity neutrons in order to split them.
The Good:
No harmful emissions. It's totally clean.
The Bad:
Radioactive by products, affectionately known
as nuclear waste, and the Toxic Avenger.
The Ugly:
Chernobyl.

BIOMASS:
Agricultural products such as wood,
leaves, ethanol, comstalks, and peat
are incinerated to produce energy.
The Good:
It's the only renewable alternative to gasoline.
The Bad:
Releases Co2 and other greenhouse gases, and
it's a bitch to transport.
The Ugly:
Power plants need constant fuel, but most plant
material is slow to develop and/or available only seasonally.

HYDROELECTRIC
Flowing water pushes paddles to turn turbines.
The Good:
There's no waste or pollution.
The Bad:
Flooding behind a dam eats up real estate
and collects pollution. Plus, it alters the
aquatic environment, harming rivers and
making it harder for fish to go upstreams.
The Ugly:
It's costly. The Three Gorges Dam in China
could eventually cost $25 billion to build.

GEOTHERMAL
There are certain spots where the Earth's
subterranean magma comes close enough to
heat underground reservoirs to 600 degrees.
Drill a hole and poof, you've got steam.
The Good:
It's all natural.Minimal environmental harm.
The Bad:
The pipes can corrode or clog.
The Ugly:
The places we can do this aren't exactly common.
And drilling deeper costs too damned much.

SOLAR:
When the sun's energy particles, called photons,
hit a solar panel, it causes a "kick" of elctrons.
Assemble enough panels and you'll have an electric current.
The Good:
It's clean. The sun does'nt cause anything harmful,
except cancer.
The Bad:
Clouds
The Ugly:
Several hundred square feet of panels are needed
to cook a steak.It is rather inefficient.

WIND:
Similar to hydroelectric power, with wind
blowing against blades used to turn the turbines.
The Good:
In certain states windmill owners can sell
electricity to their local electric company.
The Bad:
If it's not windy out, they have to buy right back.
The Ugly:
It's a bit ungainly. You'd need roughly 600 windmills,
requiring about 1,200 acres of land to light up little Anchorage.

HYDROGEN:
Consider the Hindenburg. On a smaller scale,
fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to free
electrons. Still in development, it's intended to
power individual machines, like cars.
The Good:
The only by products are heat and water.
The Bad:
Harnessing it is tricky. Extracting it from fossil
fuels (like coal) pollutes.
The Ugly:
It costs a metric shitload.

(abstracted fromMAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:58 AM   0 comments
Saturday, February 05, 2005
SHORT HISTORY OF POWER
3,000 B.C..
Mesopotamians (who lived in what's now Iraq)
use oil as glue...and Medicine too!

225 A.D.
Estimated birth date of the Baghdad battery,
an electricity producing clay pot device.

1752
Ben Franklin flies a kite in a thudner storm,
establishing the link between electricity and lighting.

1859
Edwin L. Drake drills 69 feet down in Titusville, Pa.,
and gets squirted with black goo. The first oil rig.

1882
The first commercial coal power plant, developed
by Thomas Edicson, begins operation in New York City.

1901
Mass production of cars begin, creating demand for
Iraqi gaoline.

1903
DC creator Thomas Edison electrocutes an elephant
to show the danger of AC power.

1951
Idaho's National Reactor Testing Site, spills the atom,
producing electric power.

1973
OPEC (including Iraq) gets pissed and imposes a U.S. oil
embargo, tripling prices and creating lines at the pump.

1979
Pennsylvania's Three mIle Island nuclear plant has
a meltdown. Luckily, it's contained in the reactor.

1986
The Chernobyl meltdown kills 31 people instantly.
Up to 100,000 more die later from radiation exposure.

2003
Bush hypes a $1.2 billion hydrogen plan to cut
dependency on foreign oil.

(abstracted from MAXIMONLINE/COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:04 AM   0 comments
10 QUESTIONS TO PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI OF AFGHANISTAN
EIGHT MILLION AFGHAN MEN
and women braved Taliban threats and bad weather
to cast their ballots during Afghanistan's first
free presidential election last fall. A solid
55.4 percent voted for Hamid Karzai. Last week
Karzai was inaugurated in the company of top U.S.
officials, including Vice President Dick Chenney
and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Will Karzan
now be able to impose his will on a country plagued
by warlords and militants, where the biggest money
earner is opium? In an exclusive interview at the
presidential palace in Kabul, the 46-year old Karzai
spoke with NEWSWEEK's Ron Moreau and Sami Tousafzai
about his plans for the newxt five years.
Here are some of the excerpts.

Will your (Karzai) priority be to dramatically
improve security?

Today I met an elderly village man who had
tears in his eyes. He pleased: "Mr. President,
I want a clean government". That was exactly what
the Afghan people vote for. That's what I'm going
to deliver. This means security; this means
reconstrcution and an honest, accountable,
austere givernment.

But how can you suddenly bring
about good government, especially
in the countryside where the Taliban
and warlords are present?

There's no Taliban in the countryside. Forget about
that. The countryside is even more ready for good
government than the urban centers. For that we need
a capable administration that will be able to deliver
services, including justice, to the people.

Will your new government feature a dramatically
new look to accomplish these tasks?

Mostly a new look. It will reflect Afghanistan
and the desires of Afghans to combat corruption.
Warlords and terrorism. There will be (an ethnic)
balance of very capable people.

Can the Taliban be defeated militarily?
The Taliban are not there. Otherwise how could we have
had election? The elections succeeded thanks to the force
of the people. The Taliban can only succeed if they are
accepted by or have a presence among the people.
The Afghan people proved that this country is inherently
democratic.

Will this election lead to defections from
Mullah Mohammed Omar's force?

The Taliban have been talking to us for a long time.
Those who are not part of Al Qaeda, who are not linked
to terrorism, who have not committed crimes against
our people, and theose who have a desire to come back
and be a part of this country again, are welcom. Thousands
of them, are just ordinary peole , like the rest of the
combatant forces in Afghanistan. But there are about
50 to 100 people, not more than that, who have visible
records of criminal activity, who are vissibly of
Al Qaeda, who are visibly part of terrorism. We can not
accept them. We will fight them.

Is there an official amnesty policy to welcome
back these so called good Taliban?

The Taliban are welcome to join us. It's their country, too.

Would hard line elements in your new government
be open to dealing with the Taliban?

Yes, of course. Everyone in the government is open to it.
We have discussed it already. Everyone wants them to come back.

Why don't you organize your won party?
Many people have asked me to, but I'm not the kind of person.
Now, the country needs national political parties. I would
back that. But I dont't have the skills to organize a
political party. I'll simply continue working for a broad
national movement.

Is the international community sufficiently
engaged in Afghanistan?

Even during the operations in Iraq, the U.S. in
particular stayed very much committed and increased
its help to Afghanistan. We would not have achieved
what we have without its generous support. If you
recognize that this country has the human potential
to absorb more help to do better if given more,
we would be very grateful.

Will your new adminstration be capable of reining
in and disarming the warlords, whom many Afghans
think are a greater threat to security than the
Talibans?

We will get it done. There has to be significant
progress. Afghanistan has no option but to fight
private military forces. Afghanistan has no option
but to fight drugs. Without a major fight on these
three fronts Afghanistan will not see permanent stability.
The moment the international community leaves us we
will fall back into disaster. We are not going to allow that.
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:14 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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