Author Archive | vulcan
In the small village of Talwas, Rajasthan, Raju, a well-known cigarette smoking monkey, and his bride Chinki were married, according to Stuff. Raju had become a local celebrity after Ramesh Saini, a rickshaw driver, adopted him three years ago when he found the monkey unconscious. He's been a surrogate son to the childless Ramesh ever since. "I want to enjoy the feelings of a son's marriage through Raju's wedding." Ramesh told the publication. "We will welcome the bride in our house ... after the wedding with all rituals."
Interesting article from Tim Barribeau on io9.com:
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The argument that life on Earth may have been seeded from the stars just received a major boost, as scientists have found the building blocks of life inside a meteorite that landed in British Columbia in 2000.
The Tagish Lake meteorite landed in January of that year, a streaking fireball that burst into more than 500 fragments which rained down on the lake. In its trip from the outer reaches of the asteroid belt it burned down from 56 tonnes to 1.3, and deep inside the fragments there are the basic building blocks of life, including the amino acids, sugars and hydrocarbons that could have jump started life on our planet.
This meteorite is the only uncontaminated example we’ve ever found, thanks to the quick actions of the people who spotted it. What the researchers have found is that the organic compounds in the rock date back to the early days of the solar system, or possible predate it.
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Personality can affect longevity — those with the most optimism and cheerfulness die younger than their less positive counterparts, U.S. researchers found.
Study leader Howard S. Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside; Leslie R. Martin, a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside; and staff researchers — over a 20-year period — tanalyzed data from a study of 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when the study began in 1921.
“Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking,” Martin said in a statement. “It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest.”
Part of the explanation lies in studying the health behaviors of the study subject — the cheerful, happy-go-lucky kids tended to take more risks with their health across the years, Friedman explained.
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Anybody visiting the Middle East in the last decade has had the experience: meeting the hoarse and aggressive person who first denies that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center and then proceeds to describe the attack as a justified vengeance for decades of American imperialism.
This cognitive dissonance — to give it a polite designation — does not always take that precise form. Sometimes the same person who hails the bravery of al-Qaida’s martyrs also believes that the Jews planned the “operation.” As far as I know, only leading British “Truther” David Shayler, a former intelligence agent who also announced his own divinity, has denied that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, took place at all. (It was apparently by means of a hologram that the widespread delusion was created on television.)
It is the spirit that powers the Scottish economy, and now whisky is to be used to create electricity for homes in a new bioenergy venture involving some of Scotland's best-known distilleries. Contracts have recently been awarded for the construction of a biomass combined heat and power plant at Rothes in Speyside that by 2013 will use the by-products of the whisky-making process for energy production.
For all of you who chanted “USA! USA!” the night of the night of 1/2 May, if you are truly patriotic, you’ll ask what the hell is going on NOW. Spencer Ackerman writes in WIRED’s Danger Room:
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Osama bin Laden is dead. 9/11 was ten years ago. So it’s not the most obvious time for a key congressional panel to expand the war on terrorism.
But that’s exactly what a section of the fiscal 2012 defense bill proposes to do. The so-called “Chairman’s Mark” of the bill, currently before the House Armed Services Committee, wants to update the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, to reflect that the al-Qaida of the present day is way different than the organization that attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
While the original Authorization tethered the war to those directly or indirectly responsible for 9/11, the new language authorizes “an armed conflict with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces,” as “those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens.”
To its supporters, the proposal catches Congress up to the reality of today’s war.
There are no photos of Osama Bin Laden (yet…). Note the photos are graphic. Via Reuters:
Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.
The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths. (More at Reuters)