Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Double-Amputee Returns to Combat

Double-Amputee Returns to Combat
September 27, 2010
Associated Press

ASHOQEH, Afghanistan -- "When a bomb exploded under Dan Luckett's Army Humvee in Iraq two years ago -- blowing off one of his legs and part of his foot -- the first thing he thought was: 'That's it. You're done. No more Army for you.'"

Needless to say, he wasn't quite on target with that assumption.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

North Korea leader son takes key party post: report

North Korea leader son takes key party post: report
SEOUL | Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:39pm EDT

(Reuters) - "North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir-apparent to the dynastic state, Kim Jong-un, has been named vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's powerful Central Military Commission, state media said on Wednesday."

Looks like they are preparing for a changing of the guard. Kim Jong-il must be on his last legs.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force

Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force
By GENE JOHNSON | AP
updated 9/24/2010 7:48:25 PM ET

TACOMA, Wash. — "A federal judge ruled Friday that a decorated flight nurse discharged from the Air Force for being gay should be given her job back as soon as possible in the latest legal setback to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy."

Could this be the beginning of the end for DADT? I'm not sure if this ruling is a good thing or a bad thing, to be honest. As one can see in this blog, I am a strong supporter of Gay Rights. However, I have also spent the majority of my life living and working with the Military. Right or wrong, this issue cannot be forced on the services. Should gays be aloud to serve openly? Yes, there's no rational reason for them not to. But that is the whole sticking point. The real problem is based on irrational reasons. And you can't make someone be rational.

Common sense says that being gay should be no more significant than being tall or short. But, until everyone in the country is educated enough to understand this, there will be negative reactions to the idea. And that is just going to make things worse.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Lesser Spelled Namesake Dies

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Lesser Spelled Namesake Dies
Mon., Sep. 20, 2010 5:33 PM PDT by Natalie Finn

"Leonard Skinner, whose rule against boys in his class having long hair stuck in the band members' craw and ultimately inspired their singular name, died in his sleep Monday at a nursing home in Jacksonville, according to his daughter. He was 77 and had Alzheimer's disease."

I was surprised by how many people didn't know he was the inspiration for their name. I was also surprised that he was still alive until now.
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China media warn Japan over escalating sea row

China media warn Japan over escalating sea row
By Chris Buckley and Huang Yan
BEIJING | Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:44pm EDT

(Reuters) - "Chinese media Monday warned Japan it risked intensified reprisals over a sea dispute and claimed that many back military force to settle a long feud over islands between Asia's two biggest economies."

More international saber rattling. I don't see how the animosity between China and Japan will ever be reconciled. They both claim the same stretch of islands and there's likely no way that China will ever forgive Japan for what happened during WWII.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Living Afghan War Vet to Receive Medal of Honor

Living Afghan War Vet to Receive Medal of Honor
September 10, 2010
Stars and Stripes|by Leo Shane III and Megan McCloskey

WASHINGTON -- "Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, a Soldier who risked his life to stop Taliban fighters from kidnapping a fallen comrade, will be the first living U.S. service member from either Iraq or Afghanistan to receive the Medal of Honor, White House officials announced Friday."

If you haven't read the story of why he was awarded the MOH you should do so now. There isn't anything I can say to this soldier but...

Airborne!
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Difficulties Abound

This month has been a tad wearing. My Swiss cheese memory is even worse than usual. My concentration, well, just isn't. My body is unhappy with everything in the universe. And, to top it all off, it is still to hot for me to get any decent sleep. In fact, I think I am going to take a short nap in a few minutes. When I come back I'm going to try and get myself a little organized. Maybe that will help things a bit.

Oh! Almost forgot. I found my first wrinkles. Got a couple of lines on my forehead. This is not bad news, though. I've been looking for them for months now. Yes, I know, it is completely backwards to be happy to find wrinkles. What can I say? It is like seeing my hair & beard turn gray or watching my hairline recede. Every reminder that I am getting older is just more proof that I'm still alive.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Halo Reach Gets Price Cut (Really?)

Halo Reach Gets Price Cut
By Paul McDougall | InformationWeek | September 16, 2010 08:43 AM

"Gamers looking to get their hands on a copy of Microsoft's Halo Reach won't have to pay quite as much for a copy of the basic edition as they would have on launch day Monday.

Amazon has cut the price on the game by 3%, from $59.99 to $58.10, according to the online retail giant's Web site. The price was still $59.99 as of early Thursday at other major outlets, including Best Buy and Microsoft's own online store.
"

This is beyond stupid. There's an article in InformationWeek that touts a price cut of ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY-NINE CENTS!!!

Someone shoot me.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Physicists investigate fate of five-dimensional black strings

Physicists investigate fate of five-dimensional black strings
September 10, 2010 By Lisa Zyga

(PhysOrg.com) -- "While black holes in four-dimensional space-time are stable and can persist for a long time, their higher-dimensional analogues are usually unstable. One such theoretical analogue is a five-dimensional black string, which is unstable to perturbations and tends to decay into different forms. But like all unstable "black objects," it's difficult to determine what the end state of the perturbed system might be. Using a new computer code, physicists have been able to simulate the evolution of five-dimensional black strings well beyond earlier studies, leading them to predict that the strings eventually turn into five-dimensional black holes."

Man, I really can't get enough of theoretical physics. I just wish I was more versed in the details and specific sciences. I understand this from a generalized perspective but not enough to really dig into it. I think if I hadn't ended up a computer geek I might have been a physicist. After all...

Physics is Phun!
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Another Microsoft virus hits the 'Net

'Here you Have' Virus Tries to Delete Your Security Software
Alessondra Springmann – Fri Sep 10, 2:14 am ET

"On Thursday, a new worm hit the Internet, and it’s been spreading by emailing the address books of infected users, according to McAfee Labs. By masquerading as a benign PDF, the worm looks something like this when it shows up in your inbox:
Subject: Here you have (or “Just for you”)
Body: This is The Document I told you about, you can find it
Here. [link]
Please check it and reply as soon as possible.
Cheers
As you may have guessed, the URL doesn’t actually take you to a PDF"

Yep, another virus that is specific to Microsoft. Those of us using non-Microsoft products don't have to worry about this stuff. If you are on a Linux box or a Mac, you actually have a system that is capable of doing more than a Windows box as well as far more secure. No, they aren't 100% safe, there is no such thing as a 100% secure computer unless it is never powered on. But using Microsoft products is like leaving the doors and windows open in your house and putting a big sign in front that says,

"Come in and take or break anything and everything."
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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Origin of magnetic fields may lie in special relativity's spacetime distortions

Origin of magnetic fields may lie in special relativity's spacetime distortions
September 9, 2010 By Lisa Zyga

(PhysOrg.com) -- "Magnetic fields play an important role on scales ranging from the sub-atomic to the cosmic, from particle spins to galaxy clusters. Although scientists know how to create and manipulate magnetic fields, as well as use them for a variety of applications from computers to credit cards, they still don't have a universal theory of how magnetic fields initially originated in astrophysical settings. In a new study, two scientists have proposed a new primary generation mechanism for the magnetic field that is based on the spacetime distortions caused by special relativity."

More really cool physics stuff. Gravity is starting to look even more like the fundamental power in the universe.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Researchers hear puzzling new physics from graphene quartet's quantum harmonies

Researchers hear puzzling new physics from graphene quartet's quantum harmonies
September 8, 2010

"Published in this week's issue of Nature, the new research raises several intriguing questions about the fundamental physics of this exciting material and reveals new effects that may make graphene even more powerful than previously expected for practical applications."

I know no one who might actually be reading this blog would probably care about this stuff. But I find it very fascinating.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

Changing one of nature's constants

Changing one of nature's constants
If correct, new finding could upend physicists’ view of universe
By Ron Cowen
Web edition : Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 6:31 pm

"The constants, they may be a-changin’ — and so may some of the fundamental laws of nature, a controversial new study suggests.

Studying the pattern in which gas clouds absorb the light from distant quasars, astronomers say they have found evidence that one of nature’s physical constants changes in a lopsided manner.
"

Wow! This is amazing. Seems that physics is turning on its head lately.
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BLACK SABBATH Can Teach Christians A Lesson Says Cleric

BLACK SABBATH Can Teach Christians A Lesson Says Cleric
Posted By KK on 09/02/2010 in Features

"Christianity can learn a lot from Black Sabbath, and heavy metal in general. That’s the view of Church Of England priest Rev. Rachel Mann."

This is a wonderful perspective. All of us Metal Heads have always understood the fundamental truth of the metal message. It is nice to see it being expressed in such a positive way.
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