Wednesday, October 17, 2012

White House mulls how to strike over Libya attack

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The White House has put special operations strike forces on standby and moved drones into the skies above Africa, ready to strike militant targets from Libya to Mali ? if investigators can find the al-Qaida-linked group responsible for the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya.

But officials say the administration, with weeks until the presidential election, is weighing whether the short-term payoff of exacting retribution on al-Qaida is worth the risk that such strikes could elevate the group's profile in the region, alienate governments the U.S. needs to fight al-Qaida in the future and do little to slow the growing terror threat in North Africa.

Details on the administration's position and on its search for a possible target were provided by three current and one former administration official, as well as an analyst who was approached by the White House for help. All four spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the high-level debates publicly.

In another effort to bolster Libyan security, the Pentagon and State Department have been developing a plan to train and equip a special operations force in Libya, according to a senior defense official.

The efforts show the tension of the White House's need to demonstrate it is responding forcefully to al-Qaida, balanced against its long-term plans to develop relationships and trust with local governments and build a permanent U.S. counterterrorist network in the region.

Vice President Joe Biden pledged in his debate last week with Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan to find those responsible for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

"We will find and bring to justice the men who did this," Biden said in response to a question about whether intelligence failures led to lax security around Stevens and the consulate. Referring back to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, Biden said American counterterror policy should be, "if you do harm to America, we will track you to the gates of hell if need be."

The White House declined to comment on the debate over how best to respond to the Benghazi attack.

It has become an issue in the U.S. election season, with Republicans accusing the Obama administration of being slow to label the assault an act of terrorism early on, and slow to strike back at those responsible. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday night in Lima, Peru, that the security of State Department operations was her responsibility.

"They are aiming for a small pop, a flash in the pan, so as to be able to say, 'Hey, we're doing something about it,'" said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rudy Attalah, the former Africa counterterrorism director for the Defense Department under President George W. Bush.

Attalah noted that in 1998, after the embassy bombing in Nairobi, the Clinton administration fired cruise missiles to take out a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan that may have been producing chemical weapons for al-Qaida.

"It was a way to say, 'Look, we did something,'" he said.

On the subject of developing a special operations unit, U.S. officials received approval from Congress well before the Benghazi attack to reprogram some funding in the budget that could be used for the commando program in Libya. But the details are still being discussed with the Libyans and also must get final approval from Congress, according to the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The initial cost is estimated at about $6.2 million.

The defense official said U.S. leaders have recognized the need to train Libyan commando forces, but details such as the size, mission and the composition of the forces are still being finalized.

A Washington-based analyst with extensive experience in Africa said administration officials have approached him for help in connecting the dots to Mali, whose northern half fell to al-Qaida-linked rebels this spring. They wanted to know if he could suggest potential targets, which he says he was not able to do.

"The civilian side is looking into doing something, and is running into a lot of pushback from the military side," the analyst said. "The resistance that is coming from the military side is because the military has both worked in the region and trained in the region. So they are more realistic."

Islamists in the region are preparing for a reaction from the U.S.

"If America hits us, I promise you that we will multiply the Sept. 11 attack by 10," said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for the Islamists in northern Mali, while denying that his group or al-Qaida fighters based in Mali played a role in the Benghazi attack.

Finding the militants who overwhelmed a small security force at the consulate isn't going to be easy.

The key suspects are members of the Libyan militia group Ansar al-Shariah. The group has denied responsibility, but eyewitnesses saw Ansar fighters at the consulate, and U.S. intelligence intercepted phone calls after the attack from Ansar fighters to leaders of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, bragging about it. The affiliate's leaders are known to be mostly in northern Mali, where they have seized a territory as large as Texas following a coup in the country's capital.

But U.S. investigators have only loosely linked "one or two names" to the attack, and they lack proof that it was planned ahead of time, or that the local fighters had any help from the larger al-Qaida affiliate, officials say.

If that proof is found, the White House must decide whether to ask Libyan security forces to arrest the suspects with an eye to extraditing them to the U.S. for trial, or to simply target the suspects with U.S. covert action.

U.S. officials say covert action is more likely. The FBI couldn't gain access to the consulate until weeks after the attack, so it is unlikely it will be able to build a strong criminal case. The U.S. is also leery of trusting the arrest and questioning of the suspects to the fledgling Libyan security forces and legal system still building after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

The burden of proof for U.S. covert action is far lower, but action by the CIA or special operations forces still requires a body of evidence that shows the suspect either took part in the violence or presents a "continuing and persistent, imminent threat" to U.S. targets, current and former officials said.

"If the people who were targeted were themselves directly complicit in this attack or directly affiliated with a group strongly implicated in the attack, then you can make an argument of imminence of threat," said Robert Grenier, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.

But if the U.S. acts alone to target them in Africa, "it raises all kinds of sovereignty issues ... and makes people very uncomfortable," said Grenier, who has criticized the CIA's heavy use of drones in Pakistan without that government's support.

Even a strike that happens with permission could prove problematic, especially in Libya or Mali, where al-Qaida supporters are currently based. Both countries have fragile, interim governments that could lose popular support if they are seen allowing the U.S. unfettered access to hunt al-Qaida.

The Libyan government is so wary of the U.S. investigation expanding into unilateral action that it refused requests to arm the drones now being flown over Libya. Libyan officials have complained publicly that they were unaware of how large the U.S. intelligence presence was in Benghazi until a couple of dozen U.S. officials showed up at the airport after the attack, waiting to be evacuated ? roughly twice the number of U.S. staff the Libyans thought were there. A number of those waiting to be evacuated worked for U.S. intelligence, according to two American officials.

In Mali, U.S. officials have urged the government to allow special operations trainers to return, to work with Mali's forces to push al-Qaida out of that country's northern area. AQIM is among the groups that filled the power vacuum after a coup by rebellious Malian forces in March.

U.S. special operations forces trainers left Mali just days after the coup. While such trainers have not been invited to return, the U.S. has expanded its intelligence effort on Mali, focusing satellite and spy flights over the contested northern region to track and map the militant groups vying for control of the territory, officials say.

In northern Mali, residents in the three largest cities say they hear the sound of airplanes overhead but can't spot them. That's standard for drones, which are often invisible to the naked eye, flying several thousand feet above ground.

Residents say the plane sounds have increased sharply in recent weeks, following both the attack in Benghazi and the growing calls for a military intervention in Mali.

Chabane Arby, a 23-year-old student from Timbuktu, said the planes make a growling sound overhead. "When they hear them, the Islamists come out and start shooting into the sky," he said.

Aboubacrine Aidarra, another resident of Timbuktu, said the planes circle overhead both day and night. "I have a friend who said he recently saw six at one time, circling overhead. ... They are planes that fly at high altitudes. But they make a big sound. "

___

Callimachi reported from Bamako, Mali. Associated Press writer Lolita Baldor contributed to this report.

Dozier can be followed on Twitter (at)kimberlydozier.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-mulls-strike-over-libya-attack-173210396--election.html

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Do re mi fa ... How do you know what comes next?

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2012) ? How do you remember a song -- and why is it that a beginning pianist who forgets the middle of a melody needs to start over again to recall the tune?

Brain scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center now have a response to these questions. At Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the researchers reveal their solution to what has long been a fundamental puzzle in neuroscience: What does the brain have to do to process a new musical sequence, and what must it do to recall a song, once learned?

The answer, says Brannon Green, a graduate student who works in the laboratory of senior author, neuroscientist Josef Rauschecker, Ph.D., is that two different areas of the brain are used -- one to learn a sequence and another to recall it -- and that higher motor areas participate in both.

Green, Rauschecker, and three colleagues at Aalto University in Helsinki/Finland used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with volunteers who listened to musical sequences while in the scanner. The participants heard early parts of a 30-second musical sequence 20 to 30 times, making that part of the melody familiar to them, while they heard the rest of the music only one to 10 times.

The researchers found that learning a novel sequence required use of the brain's motor areas, such as the basal ganglia and cerebellum, which would seem more likely to be used to move muscles to sing. In this study, these areas were active in learning the sequence of the parts of the tune -- that one sound fired one neuron, and the next sound fired a second neuron, and so on.

"The motor system contains brain structures that nature invented to decode sequences, so to learn a melody, the auditory system hijacks the motor system," says Rauschecker.

"This is also the part of the brain you use to learn how to ski or dance," says Green. "This study shows that motor sequencing areas in the brain are really generalized sequencing areas that process both motor and auditory sequences."

Once the study participants learned the tune, the fMRI showed that brain activity switched from the motor regions to areas in auditory and prefrontal cortex, which are associated with long term memory of sounds. And it also showed that it didn't take as many neurons to remember the sequence as to initially learn it.

Rauschecker likens storage of a tune to dominoes stacked next to each other. "The tones are chunked together, chained to one another in a sequence. It's like pushing the first domino, and then they all fall, one after the other. The memory trace is tight; fewer neurons are needed for recall."

"That can explain why if you get stuck in the middle of a melody you are playing on a piano, it is easier to recall it if you start from the beginning of the tune," Green says.

Tipping the dominos at will also illustrates "how a symphony conductor is always ahead of the orchestra," Rauschecker says. "One cue triggers the next and then the next."

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (PIRE-OISE-0730255) and the Academy of Finland's FiDiPro program. Rauschecker and his co-authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study.

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Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/strange_science/~3/JWB9ACyRzUU/121015161819.htm

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Monday, October 15, 2012

G/T businesses suffer dramatic drop in sales : Kaieteur News

?

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Agricola protest?

Georgetown business community is reporting that it suffered a dramatic drop in sales on Friday in the wake of the violent protest at Agricola on Thursday evening.
Tension in the atmosphere, poor turnout of employees, few customers and meagre sales to fill the cash registers were some unusual features for a Friday for businesses on Regent and Main Streets, they said.
However, this is not surprising for many business owners since protests and any form of unrest negatively affect sales.
On Thursday evening, Agricola residents staged a fiery protest blocking the East Bank Public Road at Eccles and Agricola. The protest was reportedly in response to Government?s support of Clement Rohee as Home Affairs Minister. The community is grieving the execution of one of its youths, Shaquille Grant, by ranks of the Guyana Police Force.

Regent Street on Friday

While, protestors were attacking the police and robbing and beating innocent passersby, traffic had stalled for hours leaving many stranded. According to business owners, many employees did turn out to work on Friday out of fear of what occurred on Thursday.
?Some of my employees live in Diamond (East Bank Demerara) and they had to sleep in town owing to what was happening on the road, so they couldn?t come out to work. And many of them were afraid to travel because of the violence,? a store owner told this publication.
Even with limited employees, serving customers was not difficult owing to the few who came out to shop. Many store owners related that sales were down by at least 70 percent on Friday and there was a slight increase yesterday.
One proprietor said, ?Business was already slow before the protest and Friday was slower. It is coming to year-end and businesses need the holiday sales. Hopefully what happened last year doesn?t occur again.?
Similar sentiments were expressed by other business owners who mentioned that rumours of potential disturbances in the commercial zone also put a damper on business. Many opined that the rumours could have contributed to the light flow of traffic.

Source: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2012/10/14/agricola-protest-affect-businesses-significantly/

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Playing pool with the director of 'Sparrows Dance'

Noah Buschel looked at me. He was standing by the billiard table at the Colony Cafe. It?s a worn thing, small but usable. I said I was on my way out. He pleaded. Well, maybe not pleaded, but he said I could interview me while we played. Well, I thought, I can?t refuse a game of pool.

Over 15 minutes, Buschel and I played stripes and solids on the Colony table, which we found out was on a slant, really because the entire cafe is on a slant. As he was beating me early, he told me about his previous film at the festival, three years ago, a film called ?Neal Cassady,? about Cassady and Jack Kerouac, starring Amy Ryan and Tate Donovan. That year he couldn?t make it.

His film this year is ?Sparrows Dance,? starring Marin Ireland and Paul Sparks, about an agoraphobic woman who falls in love. Here was the kicker: While he was playing pool with me, Buschel?s film was playing down the road.

Why wasn?t he there?

?I?ve seen the movie,? he said. ?I mean, it?s about an agoraphobic in an apartment ? you don?t want to see that too many times.?

Fair enough. As we continued, he told me he was sick of his friends in Brooklyn making mumblecore movies. Those films, made with natural, improvisational dialogue with low-budget values and amateur actors, are still all the rage with young filmmakers despite peaking in popularity a few years back. That?s why he made ?Sparrows Dance.? It?s a story. And a simple, nice story with a nice script and two actors. It?s an independent filmmaker?s independent film. Simple as.

As for the game, I won with a nasty comeback, using the table?s natural slant.

?Sparrows Dance? screens at 5 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre

Source: http://blogs.hudsonvalley.com/wff/2012/10/13/playing-pool-with-the-director-of-sparrows-dance/

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Seahawks Ask Fans to Help Local Elementary School Win Grant

RENTON, Wash. - The Seahawks announced today a campaign to garner votes for Gatewood Elementary School in Seattle as part of a partnership with NFL PLAY 60 and
DonorsChoose.org.

The program, which was launched this year by the NFL in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, features two deserving youth health and fitness projects from the cities of the two teams competing in the NFL Network Thursday Night Football game. The winning project will be funded 100 percent by NFL PLAY 60, and the other will receive funding of 50 percent.

"My students are full of energy and creativity yet lack music for their exercise program," said P.E. teacher Mr. Beaty. "This project will provide a portable PA system which will play music inside or outside so my students will get up and get active."

Vote online at www.nflrush.com/choose/week6?from Saturday, October 13 - Thursday, October 18. Fans may vote one time each hour until Thursday at 8:59 p.m. (PDT).

Source: http://www.seahawks.com/news/articles/article-1/Seahawks-Ask-Fans-to-Help-Local-Elementary-School-Win-Grant/0e25d131-76f5-472d-bc83-973f2b31d9f1

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Specter dies as Congress is at its most polarized (The Arizona Republic)

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Bully boss? - Business Management Daily

Supervisors are supposed to motivate subordinates. Some bosses take that too far with biting comments, perhaps believing that pointing out flaws spurs employees to work harder.

Leaving aside the dubious effectiveness of that strategy, consider what might happen if a supervisor consistently singles out members of a protected class for tongue-lashings. It could be grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.

Monitor subordinate complaints, looking for unusual patterns. Hidden bias might be a problem if all the complaints come from women, black employees or members of some other distinct protected class.

On the other hand, if the complaints come from a broad cross-section of employees, you may have a bullying problem, but not a legal one.

And as this case shows, having an equal opportunity bully boss can sometimes be a plus.

Recent case: Connie was fired from her job as a janitor for excessive absences.

She sued, alleging she was the victim of sex discrimination. She explained that her supervisor had berated her by constantly telling her she was ?a disappointment.?

The court said that because Connie couldn?t show that the supervisor singled out women for his sharp comments, she had no case. She offered no evidence that men, for example, weren?t berated by or ?disappointing? to the supervisor. (Drumm v. SUNY Geneseo College, No. 11-2463, 2nd Cir., 2012)

Final note: Never mind the legal considerations. A boss who bullies employees probably isn?t a very good supervisor.

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Falcao scores two, Colombia beats Paraguay 2-0

Associated Press Sports

updated 10:13 p.m. ET Oct. 12, 2012

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (AP) -Radamel Falcao scored two second-half goals as Colombia defeated Paraguay 2-0 on Friday in South American World Cup qualifying.

The Atletico de Madrid forward scored in the 52nd minute and added another in the 88th.

The victory improved Colombia to 16 points in eight matches - among the leaders in the qualifying group - and left Paraguay with only four points from five matches, the worst record among the nine teams.

Paraguay has qualified for the last four World Cups and reached the quarterfinals in 2010 at South Africa.

Falcao's two goals were very similar. Both times he cut in from the right side and struck a perfectly-timed left-footed shot into the net.

Colombia had at least six chances to put the match away before Falcao got his second goal.

"Paraguay was tough to break down," Falcao said. "We had to really fight to get the job done."

? 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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PST: US finds hero in win over Antigua

Not even the most ardent Eddie Johnson fan would have predicted he would be the man to pull the U.S. national team back from its World Cup qualifying ledge. But he scored both goals in the 2-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda.

Source: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/49396335/ns/sports-soccer/

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Todd Akin Headlines the Daily Show's Congressional Crazy Tour

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Octomom: Cleared in Sex Abuse Case

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Researcher helps make Sudoku puzzles less puzzling

Friday, October 12, 2012

For anyone who has ever struggled while attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, University of Notre Dame researcher Zoltan Toroczkai and Notre Dame postdoctoral researcher Maria Ercsey-Ravaz are riding to the rescue. They can not only explain why some Sudoku puzzles are harder than others, they have also developed a mathematical algorithm that solves Sudoku puzzles very quickly, without any guessing or backtracking.

Toroczkai and Ravaz of Romania's Babes-Boylai University began studying Sudoku as part of their research into the theory of optimization and computational complexity. They note that most Sudoku enthusiasts use what is known as a "brute force" system to solve problems, combined with a good deal of guessing. Brute force systems essentially deploy all possible combinations of numbers in a Sudoku puzzle until the correct answer is found. While the method is successful, it is also time consuming.

Instead, Toroczkai and Ercsey-Ravaz have proposed a universal analog algorithm which is completely deterministic (no guessing or exhaustive searching) but which always arrives at the correct solution to a problem and does so much quicker.

The researchers also discovered that the time it took to solve a problem with their analog algorithm correlated with the difficulty of the problem as rated by human solvers. This led them to develop a ranking scale for problem or puzzle difficulty. The scale runs from 1 through 4 and it matches up nicely with the "Easy" through

"Hard" to "Ultra-Hard" classification currently applied to Sudoku puzzles. A puzzle with a rating of 2 takes, on average, 10 times as long to solve than one with rating of 1. According to this system, the hardest known puzzle so far has a rating of 3.6 and it is not known if there are even harder puzzles out there.

"I had not been interested in Sudoku until we started working on the much more general class of 'Boolean satisfiability problems," Toroczkai said. "Since Sudoku is a part of this class, it seemed like a good testbed for our solver, so I familiarized myself with it. To me, and to a number of researchers studying such problems, a fascinating question is how far can us humans go in solving Sudoku puzzles deterministically, without backtracking, that is without making a choice at random, then seeing where that leads to and if it fails, restarting. Our analog solver is deterministic ? there are no random choices or backtracks made during the dynamics." Toroczkai and Ercsey-Ravasz feel that their analog algorithm can potentially be applied to a wide variety of problems in industry, computer science and computational biology.

The research experience has also made Toroczkai a devotee of Sudoku puzzles.

"Both my wife and I have several Sudoku apps on our iPhones and we must have played thousands of times, racing to get the shortest completion times on all levels," he said. "She often sees combinations of patterns that I completely miss. I have to deduce them. Without paper and pencil to jot down possibilities, it becomes impossible for me to solve many of the puzzles that our solver categorizes as hard or ultra-hard." Toroczkai's and Ercsey-Ravasv's methodology was first published in the journal Nature Physics and its application to Sudoku, appears in the Oct. 11 edition of the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

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University of Notre Dame: http://www.nd.edu

Thanks to University of Notre Dame for this article.

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Source: http://www.labspaces.net/124442/Researcher_helps_make_Sudoku_puzzles_less_puzzling

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Glance comparing EU to United States

BRUSSELS (AP) ? Here's how the European Union, which was given the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, and the United States compare:

?Population:

EU: 504 million. U.S.: 313 million

?Area :

EU:4.3 million sq. kilometers (1.66 million sq. miles). U.S.: 9.8 million sq. kilometers (3.78 million sq. miles).

?Gross Domestic Product:

EU: $17.3 trillion. U.S.: $15.1 trillion.

?Unemployment:

EU: 10.5 percent. U.S.: 7.8 percent

?Exports goods and services :

EU to U.S.: ?387 billion ($501.94 billion). U.S. to EU: ?314 billion ($407.26 billion).

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2012-10-12-Nobel-Peace-EU%20vs%20US/id-d6dd74d5d27541a1960f411577e597b3

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SpaceX satellite loss is a warning for ride sharers

Paul Marks, chief technology correspondent

dragon-capture6.jpg

The Dragon capsule coupled to the ISS (Image: NASA)

For the second time this year, a commercial space freighter has docked at the International Space Station. The successful arrival of SpaceX's Dragon cargo vessel is a fresh shot in the arm for privately funded space flight - but there's a catch.

The mission moved forward at the expense of an Orbcomm communications satellite, which was riding in the "trunk" of the Falcon 9 rocket. An engine failure on the way up meant that the satellite was released in too low an orbit, and some industry experts think the stranded probe has now re-entered Earth's atmosphere. (Update: Orbcomm has confirmed that the satellite has deorbited.)

The episode provides a salutary lesson for space entrepreneurs hoping to launch small satellites as secondary payloads on Falcon 9 flights. Emerging commercial space-flight firms such as Planetary Resources, the wannabe asteroid miners, believe such ride shares will be one economic way to deploy their constellations of rock-spotting telescopes and deep-space probes.

But as the name suggests, secondary payloads will take a back seat to the primary mission, SpaceX has confirmed. That's especially so when the main mission involves approaching a crewed spacecraft like the ISS, where safety is paramount.

The Orbcomm loss comes on the heels of a SpaceX presentation on secondary payloads given last week at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. There, mission manager Dustin Doud gave a paper on the dedicated payload bay beneath the Dragon capsule and what people can expect from a secondary satellite launch.

In his paper, Doud says:

Falcon 9 offers breakthrough reliability because the nine Merlin engines that power the first stage offer engine-out redundancy. In fact, Falcon 9 is the first American launch vehicle since the Saturn V to offer such redundancy and reliability.

Flying unperturbed when an engine fails is a marvel of engineering - something that would have brought down earlier rockets.

But when redundancy was put to the test in this week's launch, the outcome was less than ideal. A couple of minutes after the nine-engine Falcon 9 rocket lifted off, a pressure drop on one engine caused it to shut down. Falcon 9's software automatically recomputed its ascent profile to cope with having just eight engines. That meant it burned the remaining engines for longer than planned to stay on course and intercept the space station, flying at around 410 kilometres above Earth.

The new trajectory used slightly more fuel, and the second-stage burn that was supposed to loft Orbcomm's satellite into its operational orbit of 750 kilometres was called off, to protect the space station.

"While there was sufficient fuel on board to [lift the satellite], the liquid oxygen on board was only enough to achieve a roughly 95 per cent likelihood of completing the second burn, so Falcon 9 did not attempt a restart," says SpaceX spokesperson Katherine Nelson.

The event highlights the fact that redundancy measures are no guarantee that firms hitching future rides won't find their equipment lost in space - at least when crewed spacecraft are involved.

"The priority here was to protect the space station," says Nelson of this week's event. "Very few secondary missions will be space station missions."

Update (19:20 BST) Since posting, Nelson of SpaceX has elaborated on the conditions presented to Orbcomm to fly as a secondary payload during this week's ISS mission:

While you rightfully point out that the second stage burn did not happen because of pre-planned NASA safety gate designed to protect the space station, it is also important to note that Orbcomm understood and accepted from the beginning that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit. Orbcomm requested that SpaceX carry one of their small satellites (weighing a few hundred pounds vs Dragon at over 12000 pounds) on this flight so that they could gather test data before we launch their full constellation next year. The higher the orbit, the more test data they can gather, so they requested that we attempt to restart and raise altitude. NASA agreed to allow that, but only on condition that there be substantial propellant reserves, since the orbit would be close to the Space Station. SpaceX would not have agreed to fly their satellite otherwise, since this was not part of the core mission and there was a known, material risk of no altitude raise.

Source: http://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/24611545/l/0L0Snewscientist0N0Cblogs0Cshortsharpscience0C20A120C10A0Csatellite0Eride0Esharers0Espacex0Bhtml0Dcmpid0FRSS0QNSNS0Q20A120EGLOBAL0Qonline0Enews/story01.htm

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The Voss Foundation African Bazaar ? Voss Foundation

The Voss Foundation African Bazaar is a curated collection of artisan goods, crafted in the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa where Voss Foundation provides access to clean water to communities, helping individuals improve their own lives.

For a sneak preview of some of the items we will be offering at Women Helping Women?San Francisco and?New York this fall, click?here!

img_9812It all started with our staff and volunteers who love to purchase local crafts when we visit our water projects, always coming home with beautiful and unique pieces that support the communities in and around our project sites. ?Interest in these gifts began to grow, as friends and family would request items from our site visits to our water projects around Sub-Saharan Africa.

So, we decided to use this demand for beautiful and unique handmade African crafts to fund our clean water systems and wells. We realized if we could sell these pieces as a fundraiser at our events, instead of unrelated silent auctions and raffles, we could also use the items to educate the public about our work. Most importantly, we knew this would boost the economies in the regions where we work, especially knowing that the women on-site have more?time?to devote to income-generating activities, once they have facilitated access to clean water.

Voss Foundation introduced the African Bazaar at our 2011?Women Helping Women New York Luncheon, immediately garnering an overwhelming response from supporters who were happy to learn that their purchases help create a Ripple Effect?by funding Voss Foundation water projects in communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, improving lives through health, education, economic growth and empowerment!

voss-foundation-002The African Bazaar?s runaway success inspired us to create an online African Bazaar for our Voss Foundation supporters to enjoy! Here you can shop?and show you care with beautiful pieces crafted in the regions where Voss Foundation?with your help?is changing lives with access to clean water.

Voss Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to clean water to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of ongoing need in the region. Voss Foundation aims to fulfill communities? water requirements and then focus on the self-improvement of lives and communities once basic water needs are satisfied. We have a particular interest in assisting woman and girls who, relieved of the burden of fetching water, have time to devote to education and enterprise.

Since our inception in 2008, Voss Foundation has helped to build 36 water access points in 5 countries, changing the lives of over 100,000 people.

Founded by?VOSS of Norway ASA as an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, Voss Foundation has offices in New York and Oslo.

Voss Foundation?s African Bazaar is a great way to support women and their communities in the regions where we work. ?100% of all proceeds goes directly to support?our water projects in Sub-Saharan Africa! ?Access to clean water provides?an engine for growth and leads to amazing?ripple effects in health, education, and economic empowerment?thank you for shoppin Voss Foundation?s?African Bazaar to make a difference!

Please note that nearly all of our items are handmade, and many are one of a kind, which allows us to offer a diverse selection, but places limits on the quantity available. If you are interested in a sold-out item, or would like to buy more pieces than we have on hand, please contact info@thevossfoundation.org.

Source: http://www.thevossfoundation.org/the-voss-foundation-african-bazaar/

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[WATCH]: How To Gain Weight And Build Muscle For Hardgainers

Rating: 4

www.WeightGainMethod.com -? Discover How To Gain Weight & Build Muscle Fast! Jeff Masterson takes us inside his home to talk about the 3 main components of how to gain weight and build muscle. This video is especially important if you are a skinny guy or hardgainer trying to figure out how to gain weight. These are the 3 components to gain weight ? Weight Training ? Weight Gain Diet ? Resting These three components are all you need to focus on when trying to gain weight. Of course there are more details involved within each topic. But understand that you need all three of these in order to gain weight fast. You can?t just eat big and expect to gain weight without working out. And on the flip side, you can?t just expect to throw around weights in the gym 5 days a week and eat whatever you want when you get home. You can?t gain weight that way either. And last but not least, you need to rest to gain weight fast. Your muscles grow while you sleep not while you are working out in the gym. While you are resting your body is repairing your muscle tissue and growing larger so it can sustain the heavy weight training you are doing. These are the fundamentals. For more in-depth details on how to gain weight and build muscle, go to www.WeightGainNetwork.com

Source: http://muscle-building-tips.vrg-healthfitness.com/2012/10/11/watch-how-to-gain-weight-and-build-muscle-for-hardgainers-4/

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Students unite, join fight against cancer : The Pacific Index

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Home / News / Students unite, join fight against cancer

October 11, 2012 ? Victoria Hampton ?
Filed under News

Vice President of Colleges Against Cancer Kathryn Onley is not an everyday advocate for cancer awareness. Onley?s service to the club comes from the impact this disease has had on her family.
During her senior year of high school, Onley?s mother, whom she considers her best friend, was diagnosed with leukemia.
?I knew, like many others my age, cancer was bad, but it was not until cancer truly affected someone I loved so much that I realized it was time I step up and help make a difference,? said Onley.
With this motivation, Onley joined CAC. She is beginning her second year of service to the club.
The 9th annual event supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The event consists of a two-mile walk at the Oregon Convention Center on Oct. 27.
In preparation, club members are raising money and making shirts to wear at the event.
Other activities and events CAC will have throughout the year are a football raffle on Oct. 13, Boob Bingo at 5 p.m. in the U.C. on Oct. 21 and Relay for Life in April.
All of the proceeds raised by the club are donated to the American Cancer Society.
?This year we really want to get our name out there,? said club president Claire Ramaley. ?One of our main goals is to get the Pacific community involved in raising cancer awareness.?
CAC is a college branch of the American Cancer Society. The club is based around three pillars: advocacy, cancer education and survivorship.
?CAC was the perfect way of becoming involved with other students to help make those around us more aware of how vital it is that we come together and support survivors, researchers and awareness of cancer,? said Onley.
Students can visit the club?s Facebook page, Colleges Against Cancer ? Pacific University to learn more.

Source: http://www.pacindex.com/news/2012/10/11/students-unite-join-fight-against-cancer/

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Samsung announces Galaxy S III mini: 4-inch Super AMOLED, 1GHz dual-core, NFC

STUB Samsung announces Galaxy S III mini 4inch screen, fullmonty specs

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy S III mini, a 4-inch David version of its Goliath big brother -- will it be worthy of its name? The rumor mill churned out that it might be a dumbed down version, but an oblique comment by mobile head JK Shin suggests otherwise -- either way, we're on the scene in Frankfurt, Germany to give you the long (and short) of it. According to the spec sheet we just received, this Android 4.1 phone features a dual-core 1GHz chip (which is good news for the 1,500mAh battery), 1GB RAM, 8 or 16GB of internal storage plus an extra 32GB maximum via microSD. The 4-inch Super AMOLED screen comes with a WVGA resolution, while the main camera takes five-megapixel photos plus 720p video, and there's a VGA front-facing camera as well for fans of video chats. There's obviously the usual bundle of radios as well, including 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, GPS, GLONASS, FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) and even NFC, but for now, this 111.5-gram TouchWiz device will only support HSPA 900/1900/2100 networks along with EDGE 850/900/1800/1900. Stay tuned for our upcoming hands-on.

Richard Lai contributed to this report.

Continue reading Samsung announces Galaxy S III mini: 4-inch Super AMOLED, 1GHz dual-core, NFC

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Samsung announces Galaxy S III mini: 4-inch Super AMOLED, 1GHz dual-core, NFC originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/11/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-mini-launch/

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How to get your children happy and active | www.amazus.org

How to get your children happy and active

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English: At play in Sutton Park. Parents and c...

English: At play in Sutton Park. Parents and children in the adventure playground near the main entrance to the 2400-acre park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are some kids who love the outdoors and enjoy activities and others who favour more of an artistic approach to life. And then there are those who prefer to sit in front of a PlayStation and do little else. Whatever holiday your child enjoys there are some great ways to get them experimenting with new things as well as getting a bit more happy and active.

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Do your research

There are so many different types of vacation on offer for kids these days from singing to cycling to rock climbing. Think about the type of vacation that your child would enjoy and how sociable they are normally. There is little point in sending a child off to a summer camp that they will detest and not integrate. Why not gather a selection of brochures and websites and suggest a few to your offspring. Are their friends going to a particular place? All of these things can help give your child a happier holiday.

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Find something they?re comfortable with

Everyone wants their son or daughter to come back from summer youth camp having done something new and to have more confidence and better interpersonal skills. Think carefully about what your child likes to do normally. If they enjoy cycling and walking then an activity based camp will have those facilities and more, and at least they know there is something they like doing. You may find that your daughter comes back having tried rock climbing and your son has been kayaking as a result of other things being available and looking like fun to try. If you push too hard the child will feel threatened and may end up having a miserable time.

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Think about group activity

If you have a child who is quite insular and not normally sociable, getting them involved in group activity is a good way to help them break the ice with others and potentially make new friends. There are lots of sporting and outdoor activity based holidays which appeal to some kids. Other children enjoy music and artistic activities. There are senior class trips to some great places where making music together and performing to an audience is the highlight of the vacation. This type of activity helps a child see how their talents mixed with those of another child can make something really creative in the musical arena.

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Consider the learning experience

There are so many skills a child will learn from going on vacation independently. These range from social skills to learning a new sport and increasing their levels of confidence. There are history lessons too from learning about places and people that shaped the nation to types of industry famous in an area. Kids also learn how to mix with others and how they fit into a group activity. Lessons in science and natural history are so much more enjoyable in the real world than in a classroom. Who knows, your child could return having ideas for a career and totally new interests, all gleaned on a vacation.

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There are many places to choose from all over the world and so many experiences that a child could benefit from. Choosing the right one needs a bit of thought so think about your child and don?t forget to include them in the final decision for a vacation they will thank you for on their return.

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Rachael Rowe is a freelance travel writer who got the bug to travel from a school trip many years ago.

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Source: http://www.amazus.org/2012/10/10/how-to-get-your-children-happy-and-active/

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National Grid ramps up search for UK CO2 storage site

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's National Grid Plc is to drill off the coast of Yorkshire in northern England in an attempt to find a suitable site to store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, giving a boost to a technology tipped to help the UK meet its climate targets.

"This drilling operation is a major step forward in the development of a long-term, large-scale CCS (carbon capture and storage) cluster of transportation networks and storage facilities in the UK," Jim Ward, National Grid's head of CCS, said on Wednesday.

The UK has a target to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and the government sees CCS, which collects carbon emissions from power generators and stores them underground, as a key component to achieving this goal.

National Grid and its partner, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a joint industry and government body, said the drilling would help assess the viability of storing carbon dioxide in a porous rock formation, rather than in a depleted oil or gas reserve, under the sea.

The project would be complementary to other efforts to find a solution to carbon emissions.

Britain has a 1 billion pound competition to help fund demonstration projects for CCS technologies, which it said has attracted the interest of 16 companies, including National Grid, as well as Centrica Plc and SSE Plc.

The government has not specified which projects have been entered for the competition, but National Grid is working as part of the consortiums for five CCS projects proposed in the UK, according to its website.

Three of these projects, two of which aim to capture emissions at gas-fired power plants and one at a coal power station, are based in Yorkshire.

The winner or winners of the government scheme are expected to be announced by the end of the year.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by David Holmes)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/national-grid-ramps-search-uk-co2-storage-140638319--finance.html

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

America's best neighborhoods for ethnic food

7 hrs.

At a boardwalk restaurant called Tatiana, mustached men sit downing bottles of Baltika beer while watching the bikini-clad beachgoers stroll by. If you?re imagining some Russian resort town, think again: this is?New York.?

Slideshow: See?the best neighborhoods for ethnic food

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, is only about 15 miles from Manhattan but in style, cuisine and temperament, it?s thousands of miles away. A trip here or to another ethnic enclave is a great way to exercise your wanderlust without crossing oceans. You can broaden your comfort zone, buy souvenirs and products to cook at home, and sample new dishes. And you can do it affordably at casual, quirky restaurants and in cities you might not expect.?

?The way ethnic neighborhoods form has changed,? says Michael Soon Lee, author of "Cross-Cultural Selling for Dummies"?and founder of?EthnoConnect.com. ?People would immigrate through gateway cities of the major shipping lines like?San Francisco?and New York. Due to the difficulty and cost of transportation, most would stay in those areas for generations.? But with greater mobility and high-speed communications, immigrants are branching out.?

In the?Twin Cities, the Hmong (a Southeast Asian ethnic minority) have planted roots, as have Indians in?Houston?and Ethiopians in?D.C., where U Street gives off the aromas of spicy lamb stew,?injera?bread and brewing coffee. ?All it takes is for a few people from the same ethnicity to be treated with kindness, respect and understanding and then the word of mouth spreads,? says Soon Lee.?

That kind of open mind and sense of adventure helps when exploring these communities, which can be a little gritty and less accessible than touristy Little Italys. While some Chinatowns have also become kitschy shells of their former selves, in?Vegas, a vibrant community has sprung up around Spring Mountain Road; pull over at KJ Kitchen for fried noodles and Cantonese-style lobster. ??

Back in New York, the Lower East Side attracts a different sort of immigrant than those documented in its?Tenement Museum: people migrating to hip bars and restaurants. Pair cocktails there with vodka shots in Brighton Beach for a rounded-out city perspective.?

And try testing your culinary boundaries wherever you travel next, or in your own hometown. In?L.A., for instance, we?re highlighting Thai Town, but prominent local Mexican and Korean populations also do their part to serve up authentic ethnic food.?

More from Travel + Leisure?

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/itineraries/americas-best-neighborhoods-ethnic-food-1C6289285

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The Role of Construction Webcams in Construction Management

Project management is presenting new challenges day in day out. The good thing is that the advancements in technology have helped project managers deal with these setbacks in an accurate and timely manner. In construction management, construction cameras have been used to address a number of challenges. Job sites are installing these project management tools for a number of reasons.

To start with, time-lapse cameras enhance timely and reliable communication between people on the ground and those off the job site. For a project to succeed, timely communication is critical. The contractors must be able to communicate with the design teams and owners to ensure the work is running smoothly. Proper communication reduces unnecessary disputes or schedule issues, which were quite common on construction sites. Construction webcams are reliable and easy to use and install.

Additionally, construction webcams facilitate proper job documentation. These devices have advanced technology that allows users to access jobsites remotely and select specific events and image sites depending on their interest. This reduces the time spent checking the progress of a project and also enhances accuracy.

Construction cameras can also be used to provide accountability. When the cameras are installed, the image, which is transmitted from the job site is accurate and can be relied upon by team workers, owners, and other parties as a form of evidence in the event of an issue. Since every detail is recorded on camera, team members are enticed to remain true and carry their responsibility as required.

The installation of jobsite construction cameras also enhances transparency. Precision is important in any job site because major decisions are made on the progress. If the team members and owners can see the true progress, they can rely on accurate information to make major decisions, which will affect the entire project. Construction cameras are ideal if you want the project to be conducted in a transparent manner whether or not you are around to supervise.

Construction webcams are also a vital tool when the time comes to file insurance claims. They can be used to provide clear videos, which will help you support insurance claims. With such concrete evidence, it is possible to get a true judgment based on facts. You can either use a single camera with high resolution, which covers multiple angles or multiple cameras in strategic places for projects that take up more space.

Construction cameras can also be used to measure various variables. Depending on your choice of camera, you can measure the risk, quality, materials, and even labor requirements of a certain project. All these variables are important to the people on and off the job site.

In summary, construction webcams are a great investment if you are looking to save money on travel costs and ensure the job site is running smoothly. With the right devices, you can no longer rely on third parties to give you details on the progress of a certain project. You can view the job site remotely and make decisions on accurate analysis. These cameras provide transparency, accountability, and enhance communications between different parties.

About the Author

Shaun Reilly Sanders is the author of this article on Construction cameras. Find more information, about Construction webcams here

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