Saturday, February 26, 2011

We live in a Wired World Today... we can experience the news for ourselves at a personal level ... any where in the world today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh, my beloved Christchurch!



At least 100 people remain trapped in the ruins of Christchurch tonight following a devastating earthquake which claimed at least 65 lives.

Construction workers and search and rescue specialists are toiling under floodlights on a cold and wet night to dig out survivors and the dead from buildings flattened by the earthquake that ripped the city apart today.

Prime Minister John Key announced tonight that "at least 65 people have lost their lives" and noted the rescuers were still scrabbling through the ruins of collapsed buildings looking for injured and trapped survivors - and bodies.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker tonight said more than 100 people were trapped in about six sites - but it was possible more were trapped in individual houses.

TV3 has had unconfirmed reports that the death toll could reach between 200 and 300.

The Government is holding a press conference at 5.30am this morning where more details will be revealed.

This is likely to include an updated death toll.

Police have launched a hotline, 0800 779997, that people can call to report missing people.

The death toll is already the second highest in a New Zealand earthquake - outranked only by the 256 people who died in the violent 7.9 1931 Hawke's Bay quake, whose 70th anniversary was marked earlier this month.

Police have reported "multiple fatalities" at several locations in the downtown area, including where two buses were crushed by falling buildings.

Today's shake, measured at magnitude 6.3, followed the massive 7.1 tremor last September 4. That one struck in the early hours of the morning and no one was killed.

Today's earthquake jolted the city at 12.51pm, the worst possible time with the central city packed with lunch-hour shoppers, office workers and many school children.

Victims were crushed to death as buildings collapsed, many of them weakened in last year's event.

The quake was not as powerful as the September 4 shake but was much shallower, leading to greater damage.

Scientists put the epicentre at 10km southeast of the city - apparently in the middle of the harbour at Lyttelton, the city's coastal port - at a depth of only 5km.

About 30 people were thought to be trapped in the Pyne Gould Guinness building, its several floors pancaked on each other and tilted at a crazy angle.

In the ruined CTV television building a number of Japanese students, newly arrived in Japan, were believed to be in the rubble.

One injured man rescued from the building was quoted as saying he could hear other people talking.

The famous cathedral in the city's downtown square which stood undamaged last September lost its spire today and suffered heavy damage.

Reports that people were in the spire when it tumbled into the church itself and the square outside could not be verified immediately.

Police superintendent Dave Cliff said one police staff member was unaccounted for.

"We are doing everything possible to free people who are trapped," he aid.

Mr Key flew to Christchurch this afternoon and after a quick tour of the city described it as "utterly wrecked", adding "this is an absolute tragedy for Christchurch".

"We may well be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day," he said.

Graphic photographs on television showed blood-splattered survivors scrambling from downed buildings or crawling from under shattered shop verandahs that had fallen on to city footpaths.

Crushed cars lined parking spaces, masonry scattered across roads.

Mr Parker, lauded for his behaviour and slick civic control in the wake of last year's quake, said the damage today was much more severe.

"The city centre is like a war zone and damage is immense. Everybody needs to understand that this is going to be a day of very black news," he said.

He declared a state of emergency, adding Christchurch and Canterbury would need help from the rest of the country.

Christchurch Airport closed after today's earthquake and was to remain shut down overnight, open only to emergency flights and aircraft carrying rescuers and medical helpers.

Extra police, armed forces troops and search and rescue teams were heading for Christchurch tonight and the inter-island ferry heading for the South island from Wellington carried a group of 40 police, among them victim-identification specialists.

A 73-strong New South Wales search and rescue team arrived in Christchurch tonight and will go to work at first light tomorrow.

The road tunnel under the Port Hills linking Christchurch and Lyttelton was closed for some hours but was reopened tonight for emergency vehicles.

The earthquake ruptured sewer and water lines, still under repair after last September, and LPG gas lines were shut off after consumers reported leaking gas.

One third of the city was without electricity tonight after the quake brought down lines and poles.

Water, sewer and gas lines were ruptured by the quake and power lines and poles crashed, cutting electricity to one third of the city.

Citizens were asked not to flush toilets and warned to boil all water for drinking.

Telephone services were cut as anxious callers overloaded circuits.

Mr Parker urged people to put out pots and pans to collect rain water tonight, and said they should not shower, bath or use the toilet.

People should also stay off the roads and stay well away from the central city.

Heavy aftershocks continued to roll across Christchurch tonight, further frightening shocked residents. A 5.0 magnitude jolt hit at 7.43pm.

Some reports said most damage was confined to Christchurch and nearby areas and that rural property had not suffered greatly.

But radio and television reported damage in the town of Lyttelton was severe.

Its historic "Time Ball" tower building was torn apart.

The famous cathedral in the city's downtown square which escaped virtually unscathed September lost its spire today and suffered heavy damage.

Reports that people were in the spire when it tumbled into the church itself and onto the square outside could not be verified.

On the West Coast, the face of the immense Tasman Glacier collapsed in enormous chunks into its lake following the earthquake.

- NZPA, NZ Herald staff

Friday, February 18, 2011

What a novel idea!






As the U.S. government continues to heap billions in subsidies to the world's wealthiest coal and oil companies, the solar industry has been struggling to make it in the States. This is sad for many reasons, not the least of which is that we're missing out on one of the biggest growth industries in the world.

Currently there are 16 gigawatts of installed solar power globally. That number will grow to about 1,800 gigawatts in the next 20 years, making it one of the best job creators. U.S. engineers invented the solar panel, and the U.S. should be dominating that market. Instead, foreign manufacturers (particularly in China) have taken our IP and run with it, as we become increasingly dependent on foreign oil and dirty coal operations to meet our power needs.

Fortunately HyperSolar, a new U.S. company, offers a ray of sunny hope on the clean energy frontier.

The company does not manufacture solar panels. It makes them ultra-efficient using a field of science called photonics. Similar to a microchip that moves individual bits of data around at hyperspeed, HyperSolar's thin magnifying film routes and separates specific light spectrums, delivering them exactly where they're needed to make an array of PV solar cells ultra-efficient.

I saw an early prototype for such a magnifying optical layer a few years back, but the company was "dark" at the time, so I couldn't write about the innovation. But I'm as excited now as I was then for good reason — HyperSolar's optical layer can increase PV efficiency by up to 300 percent!

Theoretically that means cutting the installation cost of a solar array in half. Instead of a home solar system costing $30,000 (or more) it would only cost $15,000 (or less), making the upfront investment much lower and payback periods much quicker.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is the way W thought it was going to work... it works when the Liberation is from Within and NOT from Without Freedom....we can hope.



A day after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian military on Saturday banned top officials from travelling outside the country to ensure that former presidential loyalists don’t flee.

The ban comes into force immediately, an official announcement from the new regime said as Army removed barricades and barbed wires from around the Tahrir Square and the Egyptian capital limped back to normalcy after 18-days of turmoil.

An official statement said that officials could only travel with permission from State Prosecutor or the Armed Forces.

The new move to put restrictions on movements of Mubarak loyalists came as mystery continued to surround the whereabouts of the deposed president and his family.

While officially it is stated that Mr. Mubarak has shifted to his Sharm-al-Sheikh resort on the Red sea, other reports in the Arab media said he may have moved to Europe or the Gulf.

There was no word or mention of the ex-president from the new regime.

The Supreme Military Command Council, which has taken over the reins after Mr. Mubarak fled to his Sharm-al Sheikh resort retreat, announced that night curfew would be now in force only post-midnight.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1447555.ece?homepage=true

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The story of the insurance of fine Texas Cigars...



A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive Texas cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires.' The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued - and WON! (Stay with me.)

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable 'fire' and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars that perished in the 'fires'.

NOW FOR THE BEST PART...

After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award contest.

ONLY IN AMERICA ......
NO WONDER THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS WE'RE NUTS

Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!




This is a must read for all Texans, used-to-be Texans, adopted Texans or wanna-be Texans:

GOTTA READ!

Just Texas
Pep, Texas 79353
Smiley, Texas 78159
Paradise, Texas 76073
Rainbow, Texas 76077
Sweet Home, Texas 77987
Comfort , Texas 78013
Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the sun?
Sun City, Texas 78628
Sunrise, Texas 76661
Sunset, Texas 76270
Sundown, Texas 79372
Sunray, Texas 79086
Sunny Side, Texas 77423

Want something to eat?
Bacon, Texas 76301
Noodle, Texas 79536
Oatmeal, Texas 78605
Turkey, Texas 79261
Trout, Texas 75789
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Salty, Texas 76567
Rice, Texas 75155
Pearland, Texas 77581
Orange, Texas 77630
And top it off with:
Sweetwater , Texas 79556

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
Detroit, Texas 75436
Cleveland, Texas 75436
Colorado City, Texas 79512
Denver City, Texas 79323
Klondike, Texas 75448

Pittsburg, Texas 75686

Newark, Texas 76071
Nevada, Texas 75173
Memphis, Texas 79245
Miami, Texas 79059
Boston, Texas 75570
Santa Fe, Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony, Texas 75861
Reno, Texas 75462
Pasadena, Texas 77506
Columbus, Texas 78934

Feel like traveling outside the country?
Athens, Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China , Texas 77613

Dublin, Texas 76446
Egypt, Texas 77436
Ireland, Texas 76538
Italy, Texas 76538
Turkey, Texas 79261
London, Texas 76854
New London, Texas 75682
Paris, Texas 75460
Palestine, Texas 75801

No need to travel to Washington D.C.
Whitehouse, Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet!
Earth, Texas 79031

We have a city named after our state:
Texas City, Texas 77590

Exhausted?
Energy, Texas 76452

Cold?
Blanket, Texas 76432
Winters, Texas 79567

Like to read about History?
Santa Anna, Texas 76878
Goliad, Texas 77963
Alamo, Texas 78516
Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156
Robert Lee , Texas 76945

Need Office Supplies?
Staples, Texas 78670

Want to go into outer space?
Venus , Texas 76084
Mars , Texas 79062

You guessed it. It's on the state line.
Texline , Texas 79087

For the kids...
Kermit, Texas 79745
Elmo, Texas 75118
Nemo, Texas 76070
Tarzan, Texas 79783
Winnie, Texas 77665
Sylvester, Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas , to make you smile......
Frognot, Texas 75424
Bigfoot, Texas 78005
Hogeye, Texas 75423
Cactus, Texas 79013
Notrees, Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest, Texas 76886
Kickapoo, Texas 75763
Dime Box, Texas 77853
Old Dime Box, Texas 77853
Telephone, Texas 75488
Telegraph, Texas 76883
Whiteface, Texas 79379
Twitty, Texas 79079

And last but not least, the Anti-Al Gore City
Kilgore, Texas 75662

And our favorites...
Cut and Shoot, Texas 77303
Gun Barrel City , Texas 75147
Ding Dong, Texas

West, Texas (it's in Central Texas )

and, of course,
Muleshoe, Texas 79347

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas


If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work
there, you may live in Texas ;

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas ;

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a
wrong number, you may live in Texas ;

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may
live in Texas ;

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas ;

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live
in Texas ;


If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both
unlocked, you may live in Texas ;

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them,
you may live in Texas ;

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph --you're going 80 and
everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas ;

If you find 60 degrees 'a little chilly,' you may live in Texas ;

If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas
friends, you definitely live in Texas ..

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas .
1. Beaumont to El Paso : 742miles


2. Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles


3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas


4. World's first rodeo was in Pecos , July 4, 1883.

5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America
built over water. Destroyed by Hurricane Ike - 2008!

6. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first
full-time coach at Rice University in Houston .

7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North
America .

8. Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only
remaining flock of whooping cranes.

9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

10. The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a
hurricane in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island .

11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was " Houston ," but
the Space Center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.

12. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island .

13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24
hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.

14. Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the
Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union )
instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same
height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.

15. A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.

16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr
Pepper.

18. Texas has had six capital cities:
Washington-on-the Brazos, Harrisburg , Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia
and now: Austin

19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S., which is
taller than the Capitol building in Washington, DC (by 7 feet).

20. The San Jacinto (pronounced y'ceento) Monument is the tallest free standing monument in the
world and it is taller than the Washington Monument .

21. The name ' Texas ' comes from the Hasini Indian word 'tejas' meaning
friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas .

22. The State Mascot is the Armadillo. An interesting bit of trivia about
the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which
splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.
(Armadillo is what Aggies have on the half-shell)

23. The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston .

Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas


(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

All y'all git all that?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tree Octopus Caught on Tape ... have you seen one?



For more information: http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

Tree octopus species, including the endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, are some of the most elusive creatures known to Man. Not many researchers have managed to photograph them in the wild and those few in captivity tend to hide in inaccessable corners of their cages, as if purposefully avoiding the prying of humans.



Any Tree Octopus sighting should be sent to lyle@zapatopi.net. If it adds significantly to Tree Octopus research it may end up on this page.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What the NFL and the Chamber of Commerce does not promote about the Super Bowl Game...




Dear Super Bowl Host Committee & National Football League,

My name is A.H. and I’m a survivor of sex trafficking. I’m not a big football fan, but I’ll never forget my first trip to Dallas/Fort Worth several years ago. It was 2006 when I was dragged there against my will by a pimp. I was forced to dance, strip and sell sex (along with five other young girls) for over a month while he pocketed the cash ($1,000-$3,000/night from each girl) and planned our next gig. I was trapped in a life I never wanted without any hope of escape.

You might be shocked to know that I come from an upstanding, supportive and loving family. I’ve been an excellent student my whole life, earning a scholarship to college. I had dreams, ambitions and the courage to make them happen. Everything changed the day I met the man who would later become my pimp. He was intelligent, attractive and seemed to genuinely care about me. When I lost my scholarship due to an injury, he offered to help me and I believed he would. As soon as I realized what he had in mind, I tried to leave. He grabbed me by the neck, threw me down and almost choked the life out of me. When he threatened to hurt my family if I didn’t cooperate, I knew I was trapped.

This nightmare was my life for over a year. During that time, we traveled to several states where I was sold at nightclubs, bars, and parties -- fulfilling a demand for sex nationwide. He was always there, always watching. If I refused to work, I was beaten and tortured.
We spent an entire month in Dallas/Fort Worth, where my pimp said the “real money” was. We were all young (some as young as 14-years-old) and that’s what the men wanted. No one asked if we were being forced to work, or if we enjoyed it. No one cared. While we were being sold for sex every night, our pimp was recruiting other local girls – from the Galleria, the clubs, concerts, and even McDonald’s.

I lived in fear every day, hoping I’d survive to see the next. It wasn’t until I heard him loading his gun to kill me that I finally mustered the courage to escape. Today, I’m a survivor. I share my story with you in the hopes that you’ll realize sex trafficking is real. It happens to young girls across America every day – girls as young as 13. With the Super Bowl quickly approaching, you have a choice to help stop it. Dallas/Fort Worth will soon become the nation’s biggest party – and every pimp’s center for business.

Please join me, Dallas Cowboy Jay Ratliff, and 70,000+ fans who’ve signed the Change.org petition in taking a stand against the exploitation of women and children during the Super Bowl. Every victim deserves the chance to become a survivor. And every young girl deserves to be protected and live a life free from slavery and exploitation.

I’m asking you to endorse the I’m Not Buying It campaign. By placing posters and billboards in and around the stadium you can deter men from engaging in the commercial sex market and save the lives of countless victims. You can make a difference – please, what would you do if it was your daughter?

Thank you,
A.H., Survivor of Sex Trafficking